Mediatonic was one of the studios hit by a surprise 16% layoff by Epic Games, which is confirmed to have taken more than 800 jobs.
Development studio Mediatonic, known for the platformer party game Fall Guys, was purchased by Epic in 2021, as part of the company’s effort to expand the amount of free-to-play games available on its store.
Back in 2021, Mediatonic released the following statement:
“At Tonic Games Group we often say that ‘everyone deserves a game that feels like it was made for them.’ With Epic, we feel like we have found a home that was made for us. They share our mission to build and support games that have a positive impact, empower others and stand the test of time and we couldn’t be more excited to be joining forces with their team.”
Ed Fear, ex-director at Mediatonic, has given some insight into the company’s current situation by posting a picture of the Mediatonic logo, rearranged by one of the employees:
Epic has also purchased Psyonix, the studio behind Rocket League, in 2019, and employees claim they were hit by layoffs as well.
Devin Connors, senior manager at the studio, claims he wasn’t part of the layoffs but a good chunk of his team is now gone.
Epic Games has made the following e-mail, sent by Tim Sweeney to all Epic Games employees, public, which gives us an insight into the company’s priorities and the scope of the layoffs:
[…] We are laying off around 830 employees, or 16% of jobs. About two-thirds of the layoffs were in teams outside of core development.
Around 250 people are leaving Epic through our divestitures from Bandcamp and SuperAwesome
We’re cutting costs without sacrificing development or lines of businesses so that means business functions are disproportionately impacted compared to development functions. […]
[…] We aren’t cutting any core businesses, and are continuing to invest in games with Fortnite first-party development, the Fortnite creator ecosystem and economy, Rocket League and Fall Guys; and services for developers including Unreal Engine for games and enterprise, Epic Games Store, Epic Games Publishing, Epic Online Services, Kids Web Services, MetaHuman, Twin Motion, Quixel Mega Scans, Capturing Reality, ArtStation, Sketchfab and Fab. […]
Tim Sweeney claims these layoffs were due to the company’s investments without return when it comes to transforming Fortnite into a metaverse ecosystem for creators. It’s almost refreshing to see a company admit to mismanagement in an honest manner, but it’s doubtful that honesty is worth much to those who lost their jobs.
Players will have to do their best when it comes to having fun with Fall Guys, Fortnite, or Rocket League, knowing that a good chunk of the game’s teams has been fired because the metaverse is a bankrupt idea. On the bright side, Epic can now reinvest the money saved up by these layoffs on keeping more games hostage for a year or two on their platform.