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Disruptor Beam lays off staff as part of 're-focusing' effort

Disruptor Beam lays off staff as part of 're-focusing' effort

October 10, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon

October 10, 2017 | By Alissa McAloon
More: Business/Marketing

A number of game developers have reportedly been laid off from Star Trek Timelines and Game of War Ascent developer Disruptor Beam, according to postings on social media from affected devs.

At least 10 team members in various roles at the Massachusetts-based studio were hit by the layoffs, ranging from community and QA staff to the company's CTO of four years.

The layoffs notably fall just over a month after the company launched The Walking Dead: March to War on mobile devices. Earlier in the year, Disruptor Beam closed an $8.5 million funding round during the development of March to War, roughly one year after the release Star Trek Timelines. At the time, the studio noted that it had been able to double its headcount in the year prior, based largely on the success of Timelines.

As always, if you or someone you know has been affected by these layoffs, you can email Gamasutra to share your story confidentially.

Update: While a representative for Disruptor Beam could not comment on the number of developers affected by the layoffs, they did share the following statement from CEO Jon Radoff with Gamasutra: 

"Today’s headcount reduction reflects increased focus at Disruptor Beam. While right-sizing is an important goal, this is not just about cutting costs. It is an opportunity to advance our strategy by focusing on two game types that we’ve had great success with: character-collection games and war games.

"Our character-collection title, Star Trek Timelines, has been a growth engine for the company, and we plan to build even further on that success. Our recently released war game, The Walking Dead: March To War, is also very promising, and we will continue to invest in it and grow our expertise in that genre. While we’re pulling back from other project areas that don't demonstrate as much potential, this increased focus sets us up for sustainable success with a strong portfolio of free-to-play mobile games. 

"We’re deeply sad about having to let some of our staff go, and we wish them the best. Re-focusing our strategy and right-sizing the business was a difficult decision for us, and we are grateful to the entire team for their considerable contributions."

Update #2: A source familiar with the matter estimates that roughly 30-40 people lost their jobs in this round of layoffs, accounting for as much as 30 percent of the studio. They also confirm that the layoffs were wide-ranging, affecting everyone from QA team members and artists to coders, HR staffers, and data analysts.

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