Unity, the company behind the engine of the very same name used in game development, is now in the midst of an employee exodus. No, it’s not a workplace strike, but more, on the side of management; according to sources from Kotaku, the company laid off hundreds of its employees.
Founded in the mid-2000s, Unity’s engine is well-known enough to be used by thousands of developers and could be found in some of your favorite (and not-so-favorite) titles. Some of the engine’s bigger games include titles like Cuphead (which is getting new DLC tomorrow, as of the time of publication).
The company’s IPO filing states 3,300 employees working under Unity, though its LinkedIn and Glassdoor pages list significantly higher numbers (just above 8,000 in the case of LinkedIn). Anyways, these layoffs affect operations worldwide, and there’s been a focus more on the AI and engineering areas of business.
Lots of employees who were suddenly removed from their positions were also contacted to join group calls with no prior knowledge of what was actually going on, and some of them even had human resources staff sit in on those calls, which is never good.
Other problems from an anonymous source are stated to be problems with attrition, mismanagement, and unpredictable, rapid strategic pivots. Last year, the company purchased Weta Digital (founded by Peter Jackson, and is well-known for its work on James Cameron’s Avatar and The Lord of the Rings franchises) for around $1.62 billion, and also purchased Parsec (a company that leverages cloud technology for people to connect their PCs and stream their games) for $320 million.
The news about the layoffs contradicts a meeting two weeks ago in front of all of these employees, where CEO John Riccitiello mentions that the company isn’t in any financial trouble, nor would there be layoffs in the company, according to sources that were in attendance at the time. God willing, these employees that have been laid off worldwide can find work either still in the gaming industry, or otherwise. But then again, who knows where they'll end up?