PTW, a support studio that’s worked with some of the industry’s biggest companies like Blizzard, Capcom, and Sega, has laid off about 45 people, as first reported by Kotaku. PTW was previously called Pole To Win and its services include quality assurance, studio support, and localization. Last week, on January 11, someone with knowledge of the studio told Kotaku about the layoffs, noting that roughly 45 people lost their jobs.
The person with the knowledge of PTW also told the publication that the majority of those laid off live outside the United States – it has studios in North America, Europe, and Asia – and were QA workers. However, jobs were cut in other departments, too, Kotaku notes.
“PTW made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce in several countries where we operate,” a PTW spokesperson told Kotaku. “This decision was not made lightly – Our company’s core offerings stem from the people who enable us to deliver world-class products and services. We want to thank our departing team members for the time and effort they put into the company.”
These layoffs join a large string of other job cuts that happened last week, following a terrible 2023 for the people who make games and those in game-adjacent industries. Last week, we learned Unity would be laying off 1800 people by the end of March, and that Twitch was laying off 500 employees. Discord also announced it had laid off 170 employees.
Striking Distance Studios, the team behind 2022’s The Callisto Protocol, laid off more than 30 employees in August of 2023. That same month, Mass Effect and Dragon Age developer BioWare laid off 50 employees, including long-time studio veterans. The following month, in September, Immortals of Aveum developer Ascendant Studios laid off roughly 45% of its staff, and Fortnite developer Epic Games laid off 830 employees.
In October of last year, The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog laid off at least 25 employees, and Telltale Games also underwent layoffs, although an actual number of affected employees has not yet been revealed. Dreams developer Media Molecule laid off 20 employees in late October.
In November, Amazon Games laid off 180 staff members, Ubisoft laid off more than 100 employees, Bungie laid off roughly 100 developers, and 505 Games’ parent company, Digital Bros, laid off 30% of its staff.
In December, Embracer Group closed its reformed TimeSplitters studio, Free Radical Design, and earlier in the year, Embracer closed Saints Row developer Volition Games, a studio with more than 30 years of development history. A few weeks before the winter holidays, Dungeons & Dragons and Magic: The Gathering owner Hasbro laid off 1,100 employees.
The games industry will surely feel the effects of such horrific layoffs for years to come. The hearts of the Game Informer staff are with everyone who’s been affected by layoffs or closures.