Square Enix Announces Major Layoffs in North America and Europe

The hits keep on coming to the industry in 2024.

By Olivia Montalvo. Posted 05/20/2024 09:13 Comment on this     ShareThis

Square Enix, the Japanese gaming giant behind franchises like Final Fantasy and Tomb Raider, has announced significant workforce reductions at its North American and European operations.

In a statement, Square Enix revealed plans to lay off hundreds of employees across its studios and offices in the West. The cuts are part of a major restructuring effort aimed at improving profitability and shifting resources towards live service and mobile game development.

“It is with a heavy heart that we must say goodbye to many talented members of our Square Enix family in the Americas and Europe,” said Yosuke Matsuda, President and CEO of Square Enix Holdings. “These difficult decisions were made to ensure our long-term success in an industry that is rapidly evolving.”

Western Studios Hit Hard

The layoffs will heavily impact Square Enix’s Western game development studios, including Crystal Dynamics (Tomb Raider), Eidos-Montréal (Deus Ex), and IO Interactive (Hitman). Exact numbers were not provided, but sources suggest hundreds of jobs will be eliminated at these locations.

Square Enix’s European publishing operations are also being significantly downsized, with the company’s London mobile game studio being completely shuttered. Ian Livingstone, the Life President of Square Enix Europe, departed the company last year amidst early restructuring efforts.

Shifting Strategy

The layoffs reflect Square Enix’s strategic pivot away from traditional big-budget console and PC game development in favor of recurring revenue models like live services, mobile games, and blockchain initiatives. Despite critical acclaim, recent big releases like Tomb Raider and Hitman underperformed commercially.

“We must adapt our development resources and approach to focus on areas with strong growth potential,” Matsuda explained. “The changes today will put us in the best position to capitalize on emerging opportunities in the gaming space.”

Square Enix is the latest major gaming company to undergo mass layoffs, following significant job cuts at Microsoft, Amazon, Meta, Twitter and others in recent months as economic headwinds intensify. The company remains optimistic that these painful measures will ultimately create a “leaner, more agile” organization for the future.

Source: GamesIndustry.biz

This article was written by a Nintendojo, Jr. Contributor. You can learn more about the initiative here.

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