Report: Team17 To Slash Jobs, CEO Michael Pattison Expected To Depart (Updated)

If a new report is to be believed, Team17 could be in a spot of trouble, and big job cuts could be coming.

Published: October 2, 2023 9:05 AM /


The mascots and main characters of several Team17 games, including Yooka-Laylee, the protagonist of Neon Abyss, and the Penitent One, among others

A new report has emerged that suggests trouble may be afoot at British publisher Team17.

According to Eurogamer, which in turn cites "sources close to the company", around 50 staffers from the studio's quality assurance department are at risk as part of a company restructuring effort, with Team17 outsourcing its QA instead of using in-house employees.

Team17 Digital CEO Michael Pattison is also expected to step down as part of the restructure. According to Eurogamer's report, a new "proposed team structure document" outlining these changes was shared with staff members today.

The majority of QA staffers at risk of losing their jobs are junior analysts, according to Eurogamer, and it's not clear which other Team17 departments might be at risk, if any.

Four teams facing off against one another in the Team17 game Worms
Team17 is perhaps best-known for its Worms franchise, although other efforts include BlasphemousMoving Out, and Hell Let Loose.

It's been a strange and rocky couple of years for Team17.

Earlier this year, long-time CEO Debbie Bestwick stepped down from the company, having been named as part of several staff complaints alleging poor treatment and low pay last year.

Prior to that, amid the (apparently short-lived) NFT boom in early 2022, Team17 announced its own NFT project based on the Worms property, then rapidly shut the project down after it became clear fans were not happy with the move.

In addition, according to Eurogamer, this latest round of layoffs follows another that took place in March this year, with impacted departments in that round including art and design.

These latest alleged Team17 layoffs come shortly after a corporate restructuring was announced by Sega, with live-service shooter Hyenas being canceled and British studio Creative Assembly reportedly being hit hard by layoffs as well.

Add to that a particularly heavy restructuring effort by holding company Embracer Group, which has seen Saints Row studio Volition close down as well as employees being let go, and things aren't looking great for a few studios in the industry right now.

Update: We reached out to Team17 for comment, and a spokesperson gave us this statement:

In response to the reports concerning the departure of Michael Pattison from Team17, we can confirm we have amicably parted ways with Michael. We can also confirm that we have sadly entered into a period of consultation today within Team17 Digital, with Astragon and Storytoys remaining unaffected by the restructuring plans.

Stay tuned for more information on this.

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