Jurassic World Alive, Cookie Jam developer sees massive layoffs

Jurassic World Alive and Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery publisher Jam City laid off 17% of employees at the company and its subsidiary Ludia on Thursday. Jam City, the birthplace of the match-3 game Cookie Jam in 2014 and has locations across the US and Canada, acquired Ludia, located in Montreal and known for creating both original and branded games, by 2021 and employing approximately 1,400 workers.

About 200 workers were laid off Thursday between Jam City and Ludia. Polygon spoke with 10 affected Ludia workers and two current employees. Many former Ludia employees told Polygon they were on leave or on vacation when they were laid off, learned first from other colleagues and later found that they had lost access to linked accounts. .

Ludia workers have Not layoffs were notified in advance of the layoffs through a large meeting where employees were instructed not to tell others, according to a call recording obtained by Polygon. Then, human resources began pulling affected individuals into separate meetings. At least one worker told Polygon that they started to lose access to various work accounts while they were still waiting for their scheduled meeting time. Other confused employees began questioning employee layoffs in public Slack rooms.

The majority of workers said they were surprised by the layoffs, noting that they had previously been promised it would not happen – that the acquisition of Jam City would allow Ludia to do more than it did. . “People are really upset,” one current employee told Polygon. “Ludia has treated us very well over the years. They tried a lot to take care of us, but since the acquisition, that attitude seems to be changing. We tried to make our voices heard, but on the whole, we seemed to be ignored. We feel voiceless.”

Jam City purchased Ludia for $165 million in September 2021 after securing $350 million in funding from Korean game company Netmarble, Marvel Realm of Champions developers Kabam and others, according to VentureBeat. Jam City has issued a number of smaller layoffs since then, four former employees told Polygon. However, Thursday’s round of layoffs was the largest of them all.

A Jam City spokesperson told Polygon that the decision was made “in light of the challenging global economy and its impact on the gaming industry”. The spokesperson continued:

In light of the challenging global economy and its impact on the gaming industry, Jam City has made the difficult decision to reduce our team size to approximately 17%. We’ve made a number of strategic acquisitions in recent years, and this move represents the right size of our workforce to address the redundancy associated with those transactions. Although Jam City is still profitable, we believe that in the current operating environment, this is a necessary move to improve financial flexibility and increase operational efficiency, better positioning Jam City to grow. long-term development. This also follows a broader refactoring we recently completed to reorganize our development teams into genre divisions that focus on subject matter expertise for optimization. efficiency. We thank those who are leaving us for their many contributions and are providing severance and severance packages to help with the transition.

They said workers were offered severance packages according to the company’s working time.

Jam City publicly details its next game, called Champions Ascension and will be built on blockchain, in a white paper in May. Champions Ascension characters can now be purchased as NFTs on OpenSea; 7,622 available as of time of writing. Some laid-off workers speculated to Polygon that Jam City’s holistic approach to the blockchain game may have influenced Thursday’s layoffs. Besides Champions AscensionJam City has worked on a number of original and licensed games, like Genies & Gems, Disney Emoticon Quickand Family Guy: Another Freakin ‘Mobile Game.

Ludia, founded in 2007, started by creating licensed games like Price matching and other game show franchises and move on to other games like The Bachelor: The Videogame and Jurassic World Alive.

One worker said: “The problem that comes with game development is that we have too much undisclosed information. “It’s very hard to get these things out without feeling like you’re at risk. If you can talk about these types of layoffs, let everyone know this is happening. Otherwise, it’s just below the line of sight. Game development continues as usual. But in a city like Montreal, where there are such a concentrated number of studios, it can be devastating. “

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