Six games that will never see the light of day thanks to the mass tech layoffs

Star Wars Jedi: Survivor review
(Image credit: EA)

January through March is generally the end of the fiscal year, which often means mass layoffs. Especially in the tech and gaming industries that are notoriously volatile. While some studios have been insulated from major losses due to overwhelming success, most major publishers have dropped at least some staff.

In some cases this doesn't mean much to consumers, but for the studios with the largest cuts this can mean that some games in progress won't see the light of day. Many of these projects are unnamed and unannounced, which means they may be reborn in a new form somewhere down the line. But for now, all of these games are dead on arrival.

Game cancellations so far

"Star Wars" first-person shooter from Respawn Entertainment

As part of Electronic Arts' recent layoffs, Respawn Entertainment's follow up to the hit "Star Wars: Jedi Survivor" is no longer in development. The studio will instead focus their efforts on creating new projects based on EA's own brands. So this could mean more "Titanfall" or "Apex Legends" games down the line, but it is the death of the untitled "Star Wars" FPS game.

EA's recent restructuring has the publisher moving away from licensed properties, which has impacted many of its mobile games as well. "Kim Kardashian Hollywood," "Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth," "MLB Tap Sports Baseball," and "F1 Mobile" are being discontinued as part of EA's change in content strategy.

Eidos-Montréal's next "Deus Ex" game

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

(Image credit: Square Enix)

Eidos-Montréal has been working on their next "Deus Ex" title for about two years now, since the split with Square Enix in 2022. New owners Embracer Group have laid off a significant number of employees at Eidos-Montréal across multiple divisions including developers, admin staff, and support services.

While "Deus Ex" could be resurrected somewhere down the line, it is currently not being worked on thanks to Embracer's restructuring of Eidos.

Several other Embracer Group owned studios have also seen layoffs and studio closures since the parent company lost a high-profile $2 billion deal in May of last year.

Sony London Studios' PS5 live service co-op game and several other unannounced titles have been cancelled

Sony London Studio's untitled coop game

(Image credit: Sony)

After laying off 900 PlayStation employees across multiple studios, as well as closing down their London Studio, Sony Interactive Entertainment has cancelled development on "some" unannounced games.

Sony has not released information on which of their upcoming games have been cancelled. However, with the close of the Sony London Studio, the upcoming fantasy online co-op game by the "Blood & Truth"  developer is the one game we know for sure has been cancelled by Sony. The fantasy co-op game was announced in 2022 and was to be set in an alternate version of London. A title for the project was never released to the public.

Other studios impacted by the layoffs include Naughty Dog, Insomniac Games, and Guerrilla Games. Its unclear if those studios have also cancelled projects due to the layoffs at this time.

Hidden Path has paused development on an unannounced RPG

Hidden Path CEO Jeff Pobst took to LinkedIn to confirm layoffs after the studio was unable to secure enough funding for an unannounced RPG project.

Little information on the project was revealed, but it won't be making any news any time soon. This one may see the light of day in the future, should Hidden Path be able to muster up the resources to get it back off the ground.

ZA/UM cancels "Disco Elysium" expansion project "X7"

Disco Elysium

(Image credit: ZA/UM)

Details on project "X7" are somewhat scarce, but according to GLHF it was expected to be a standalone expansion for "Disco Elysium." The project was "one to two years"  away from completion according to ZA/UM president Ed Tomaszewski.

This leaves two projects left at ZA/UM after the 2022 cancellation of "Disco Elysium" sequel project Y12 and the 2023 cancellation of original IP project P1. The two remaining projects are referred to by codenames C4 and M0 internally.

Die Gut Fabrik's upcoming project halts production

Saltsea Chronicles key art

(Image credit: Die Gut Fabrik)

Die Gut Fabrik is mostly known for the story driven adventure game "Saltsea Chronicles." The studio failed to secure funding for its next project and would be halting production on the game.

The studio is still open to finding funding for this project in the future, so we may see it resurrected in the future. For now, the team at Die Gut Fabrik are looking for new work.

Square Enix and People Can Fly's "Project Gemini" may also be in trouble


(Image credit: Square Enix)

Polish developer People Can Fly has laid off over 30 people according to Kotaku, all of whom were working on the unannounced Square Enix title "Project Gemini." An additional 20 staff were moved to other projects.

These layoffs were caused by budget limitations and shrinking scope for the game, with a shorter campaign and smaller enemy roster as a result of the reduced budget. "Project Gemini" was initially slated for a 2026 launch date, though its uncertain if that release window will shift given the layoffs.

People Can Fly and Square Enix initially worked together on 2021's loot-shooter "Outriders."

In Memoriam: the gaming layoffs of 2024 so far

  • January 4, 2024: VR developer Archiact laid off an unspecified number of staff
  • January 8, 2024: Gaming engine developer Unity lost 25% of its workforce with 1,800 layoffs
  • January 9, 2024: "Dead by Daylight" developer Behaviour Interactive laid off around 45 staff between January 9th and January 11th.
  • January 11, 2024: streaming platform Twitch axed nearly 500 workers, around 35% of their staff
  • January 11, 2024: text and voice chat client developer Discord laid off 17% of its workforce, axing 170 employees
  • January 11, 2024: mobile game publisher Playtika laid off up to 400 employees, or 10% of its total staff
  • January 11, 2024: PTW (formerly Pole To Win), a QA and localization support studio, laid off 45 staff members
  • January 12, 2024: Lost Boys Interactive, a subsidiary of Gearbox, laid off 125 people
  • January 12, 2024: Canadian Indie studio Funselektor laid off 3 developers
  • January 16, 2024: "Sunshine Days" developer Netspeak Games cut 25 jobs
  • January 17, 2024: Thunderful Group announced plans to restructure, and laid off about 100 employees in the process
  • January 17, 2024: Nexon subsidiary Pixelberry Studios laid off 120 employees
  • January 17, 2024: Austin-based VR studio Wimo Games closed, leaving all 35 staff unemployed
  • January 18, 2024: CI Games laid off 15-20 employees across multiple studios, including "Lords of the Fallen" developer Hexworks and "Sniper Ghost Warrior" developer Underdog
  • January 18, 2024: 2K subsidiary 31st Union laid off less than 10 employees
  • January 18, 2024: South Korean mobile and online game company Com2uS laid off a "two-digit number of employees"
  • January 18, 2024: NCSoft laid off 70 people from the Ntreev Soft subsidiary division
  • January 19, 2024: Mobile game developer Netmarble's subsidiary Metaverse World division axed 70 jobs
  • January 22, 2024: "League of Legends" developer Riot Games laid off 500 employees 
  • January 23, 2024: Game recruitment agency One Player Mission (OPM) closed after 26 years, leaving all 15 employees without a job
  • January 23, 2024: "Ruiner" developer Reikon Games has laid off about 56% of its staff, with around 60-70 employees being laid off
  • January 24, 2024: Polish developer People Can Fly laid off over 30 people, all cuts were made to the team working on the yet-unannounced Project Gemini
  • January 25, 2024: Microsoft Gaming laid off 1,900 staff across Activision Blizzard, ZeniMax, and Xbox teams
  • January 25, 2024: THQ Nordic subsidiary Black Forest Games lays off 50% of its staff
  • January 25, 2024: New York based indie strategy studio Little Red Dog Games shut down, leaving 27 developers in the cold
  • January 29, 2024: Eidos-Montréal laid off 97 people across its development teams, administration, and support services
  • January 29, 2024: Swedish indie studio Chief Rebel has laid off around 21 people
  • January 30, 2024: Argentinian studio Nimble Giant Entertainment laid off roughly 30 employees
  • January 31, 2024: Sega of America announced plans to lay off 61 employees by March
  • January 31, 2024: Polish game studio Artificier laid off 28 people, 18 effective immediately while 10 will be laid off once their project releases
  • January 31, 2024: Developer Airship Syndicate laid off 12 staff for cost saving measures
  • February 2, 2024: German indie studio Threaks shut its doors and laid off all 25 staff
  • February 5, 2024: Crop Circle Games laid off around 50 employees across multiple departments including writing, design, and engineering
  • February 6, 2024: Indie dev Threshold Games announced its closure, with all 11 staff being left jobless on February 9th
  • February 6, 2024: 2K subsidiary Visual Concepts Austin laid off around 9 people
  • February 7, 2024: Chinese mobile developer 91Act has reportedly laid off everyone at the studio besides founder and CEO Jiang Lei. The studio was behind 2023's "BlazBlue Entropy Effect"
  • February 7, 2024: Hidden Path laid off 44 employees that were working on an unannounced project, due to lack of funding
  • February 9, 2024: "Everquest" and "H1Z1" developer Daybreak Games laid off an unknown number of staff
  • February 13, 2024: Publisher Scopely has ended its partnership with developer Global Worldwide, which led to the layoffs of 15 staff
  • February 15, 2024: "Disco Elysium" developer ZA/UM laid off 24 employees after cancelling upcoming game, codename X7.
  • February 19, 2024: Blizzard dropped 68% of its employees in Ireland, with 136 jobs cut 
  • February 20, 2024: Build A Rocket Boy, an indie studio run by former "Grand Theft Auto V" producer Leslie Benzies revealed multiple layoffs
  • February 21, 2024: Support studio Disruptive Games announced layoffs
  • February 22, 2024: Gameloft cuts staff in Canada and the Ukraine
  • February 23, 2024: Electronic Arts made cuts to Codemasters and Glu Mobile, as it shuts down production in several licensed mobile games
  • February 26, 2024: Supermassive Games axed 90 jobs as part of restructuring efforts
  • February 26, 2024: Die Gute Fabrik, the studio behind "Saltsea Chronicles" failed to secure funding for its next project and all 10 employees will be searching for new work come mid-March
  • February 27, 2024: Sony Interactive Entertainment laid off 900 staff globally and shut down its London Studio division
  • February 27, 2024: "Life is Strange: True Colors" developer Deck Nine Games reduced its workforce by 20%, leaving around 30 staff without jobs
  • February 29, 2024: Electronic Arts laid off almost 700 employees, and shut down at least one development studio
Madeline Ricchiuto
Staff Writer

A former lab gremlin for Tom's Guide, Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, and Tech Radar; Madeline has escaped the labs to join Laptop Mag as a Staff Writer. With over a decade of experience writing about tech and gaming, she may actually know a thing or two. Sometimes. When she isn't writing about the latest laptops and AI software, Madeline likes to throw herself into the ocean as a PADI scuba diving instructor and underwater photography enthusiast.