Kindly Beast, the studio that created cult horror hit Bendy and the Ink Machine, has laid off almost 50 employees, according to a report by GamesIndustry.biz. This is a major hit for a company that employs just over 60 people.
The layoffs happened last week. Afterwards, two anonymous employees took to Glassdoor.com to review the company, giving an impression of a poorly-run studio. The reviews described staff members never having adequate direction, and the owners having difficulties responding to employee feedback.
The layoffs came less than a month after the release of Kindly Beast's latest game: Showdown Bandit: Episode 1, the first of what's meant to be a multi-episode stealth-action-horror series. It also comes before the release of Bendy and the Dark Revival, a sequel to Ink Machine that the studio claimed would release in Fall of 2019.
CEO Mike Mood released a statement confirming the layoffs. He said that all future projects will continue as scheduled, and that the company will help laid-off employees find new jobs in the industry.
Specifically, the statement pointed to Snowed In Studios, the creators of The Elder Scrolls: Blades and We Happy Few. The studio will reportedly have an open house on Tuesday, and Mood expressed hope that employees will find further work there.
This announcement comes during a year where layoffs have hit many employees in the game industry. Some high-profile layoffs include:
- Activision Blizzard laid off 800 people despite record profits
- Dozens of Sony Europe employees were let go on the same day they announced the PS5
- Amazon quietly laid off dozens of game developers on the last day of E3 2019
- 60 employees from Payday devs Starbreeze
- An unknown number of staff members laid off from Guild Wars developer ArenaNet
- Entertainment company Machinima folded, laying 81 people off in the process
- GameStop's corporate office laid off 120 employees, in addition to dozens of regional managers
- Seven senior writers at Game Informer lost their jobs
It remains to be seen what will become of Kindly Beast after letting the majority of its staff go. Hopefully, all the laid-off employees will soon find work elsewhere in the industry.