Meta reportedly lays off a third of Ready at Dawn including studio head
by Danny Craig ·
It appears that California-based studio Ready at Dawn, along with fellow developer Downpour Interactive, were caught in the most recent wave of layoffs at tech company Meta, with a third of its staff, including its head, being let go.
- It was reported on April 18 that Meta would be laying off even more employees across multiple divisions, including Reality Labs and social media platforms Instagram and Facebook. It appears that two of its game studios, Ready at Dawn and Downpour Interactive, were also severely impacted, with Thomas Griebel, senior engine/graphics programmer at Ready at Dawn, claiming that a third of the studio, including its head Ru Weerasuriya, were laid off. Griebel claims that the studio has lost roughly half of its workforce since August 2022 due to "attrition.”
- Colin McInerney, a former technical designer at Ready at Dawn, expressed his thoughts on the situation on Twitter, saying, "My choice words are that I cannot disparage M*ta, so let me just say that Ready at Dawn was a wonderful studio full of incredible people," followed by, "I have a thing lined up, so I will be OK. Many of my coworkers will not.”
- Ready at Dawn was purchased by Meta in 2020 and is best known for its work on virtual reality (VR) titles such as the free-to-play Echo VR, which is set to close in August 2023. Before its acquisition, it had created God of War PSP entries as well as the PlayStation exclusive The Order: 1886, which received mixed reviews due to its short length. Its VR titles have been regarded as among the best on the market, helping to move the platform away from tech demo territory and towards full-fledged narrative experiences.
- In 2021, Meta acquired Downpour Interactive, the creator of the VR shooter Onward. So far, senior designer Michael Tsarou has revealed that he is one of many employees laid off at the company, and level designer Daan van Zelst has tweeted, "Today is a dark and tough day at work. I can't believe what's happening right now." It is currently unknown how many employees were affected by the decision in total; however, given the seniority of some of those laid off, the cuts could have significant consequences at the studios.
Other recent layoffs:
- Ten Square Games, a Polish mobile publisher, has confirmed that it will cut 120 jobs, accounting for 25% of its workforce, as well as cancel two of its games, Undead Clash and Fishing Masters, to cut costs. Following the decision, the company has also confirmed that it will be restructuring.
- Electronic Arts (EA) laid off approximately 6% of its current workforce at the end of March as part of a company-wide restructuring. The decision affected approximately 775 jobs, adding to layoffs earlier this year at its subsidiaries, Respawn Entertainment and Industrial Toys.
- Counter Logic Gaming (CLG) was sold to NRG Esports, which also purchased its League of Legends franchise, with Madison Square Garden Sports becoming a majority shareholder. CLG employees, except those in its League of Legends vertical, were informed that they would be laid off as a result of the sale. The exact number of people affected is unknown but reports claim that "seemingly all" of its employees were laid off.