Tales Of Kenzera: Zau Developer Surgent Studios Announces Layoffs

Surgent Studios, the developer behind Tales of Kenzera: Zau, has announced it is laying off just over a dozen employees. This follows the release of its first game, Tales of Kenzera: Zau, back in April, which launched to good reviews. 

Surgent doesn’t explain why; it says it’s focusing on supporting those affected, continuing work on Tales of Kenzera: Zau, and looking ahead to future projects. 

Here’s the studio’s statement, in full

“Unfortunately, Surgent has joined the growing number of games studios impacted by layoffs this year with just over a dozen people affected. It’s a difficult time in the games industry, but we remain incredibly proud of our entire team’s work on Zau, and of the praise it has received from critics and players alike. Our focus now is on supporting those affected, continuing our work on Zau, and looking to the future with our next creative projects.” 

Studio head and founder Abubakar Salim, who also voiced the titular Zau in the team’s first game, released his own statement addressing the layoffs: 

“Thank you so much to those who have checked in. This hurts deeply. This isn’t the news I wanted to share today. I am so proud of what that team have achieved over the course of these 4 years. When things got tough, every one of them stood so strong, it was inspiring. So to be delivering this news today really sucks. I know we’re not alone here, but that doesn’t make it easier. 

“The focus now is to continue supporting those affected in anyway we can. I will be replying to this with links to posts from our affected team members. If you have any opportunities available or know of any going, please consider these incredible talented people.” 

Surgent Studios grows an unfortunately ever-growing list of studios affected by layoffs in 2024. 

Last month, Paradox Interactive closed its Paradox Tectonic Studio the same week it canceled its first game, Life by You. Earlier that month, Dead by Daylight developer Behaviour Interactive laid off 95 employees. Fae Farm and Dauntless developer Phoenix Labs laid off the majority of its staff and canceled its in-development games back in May, and that same week, Square Enix announced it will begin layoffs as part of “structural reforms.” 

In May, Xbox closed four Bethesda studios, including Hi-Fi Rush developer Tango Gameworks and Redfall studio Arkane Austin. Take-Two Interactive closed Rollerdrome studio Roll7 and Kerbal Space Program 2 studio Intercept Games alongside major layoffs to its indie-publisher Private Division label. That same week, we learned Deliver Us Mars developer Keoken Interactive had laid off nearly its entire staff. 

Elsewhere in the year, EA laid off roughly 670 employees across all departments, resulting in the cancellation of Respawn’s Star Wars FPS game. PlayStation laid off 900 employees across Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla, and more, closing down London Studio in the process, too. The day before, Until Dawn developer Supermassive Games announced it laid off 90 employees. 

At the end of January, we learned Embracer Group had canceled a new Deus Ex game in development at Eidos-Montréal and laid off 97 employees in the process. Also in January, Destroy All Humans remake developer Black Forest Games reportedly laid off 50 employees and Microsoft announced it was laying off 1,900 employees across its Xbox, Activision Blizzard, and ZeniMax teams, as well. Outriders studio People Can Fly laid off more than 30 employees in January, and League of Legends company Riot Games laid off 530 employees. 

Lords of the Fallen Publisher CI Games laid off 10 percent of its staff, Unity will lay off 1,800 people by the end of March, and Twitch laid off 500 employees. 

We also learned that Discord had laid off 170 employees, that layoffs happened at PTW, a support studio that’s worked with companies like Blizzard and Capcom, and that SteamWorld Build company, Thunderful Group, let go of roughly 100 people. Dead by Daylight developer Behaviour Interactive also reportedly laid off 45 people, too. 

The hearts of the Game Informer staff are with everyone who’s been affected by layoffs or closures. 

Comments are closed.