Deck Nine Games, known for its work on the Life Is Strange series, is another studio that has been hit with layoffs. Dozens of people have lost their jobs, including some team leads who decided to voluntarily leave the company.
- On May 20, some Deck Nine Games employees announced that they had been laid off on Twitter. There were also many posts on LinkedIn.
- It looks like gameplay programmers, narrative designers, artists, writers, and other professionals were affected.
- The studio’s narrative designer Elizabeth Ballou noted that leads on her team decided to lay themselves off instead of cutting lower-level staff.
- “When we started, they promised to protect us and they f***ing stuck to that, even though it meant losing their jobs,” she wrote.
To elaborate. The leads on my team were given swords and chose to fall on them, laying themselves off instead of choosing among the rest of us.
I’ve never seen anyone in games do something that metal and I hope I never have to again. https://t.co/IbKKppNr3O
— elizabeth ballou (@lizbetballou) May 20, 2023
- The former narrative lead confirmed this information, saying she decided to voluntarily part ways with Deck Nine Games. “A lead’s first responsibility is to their team, and that was the best way to keep most of my [people] clear of the layoff wave,” she added.
to be clear because some folks have expressed confusion privately: yes, there were layoffs today at deck nine. yes, i stepped away voluntarily. a lead’s first responsibility is to their team, and that was the best way to keep most of my ppl clear of the layoff wave
— cringey ikari (@autogynosaur_jr) May 20, 2023
- Deck Nine told Game Developer that it “was forced to lay off thirty amazing people.” However, the studio didn’t provide any reasons for the job cuts.
Who are Deck Nine Games?
- The history of Deck Nine Games goes back to 1997 when former Sony Interactive Studios America employees, including Mark Lyons, founded Idol Minds.
- It has worked on many PlayStation titles such as Cool Boarders, Neopets: Darkets Faerie, and Pain, while remaining independent.
- In 2017, the team rebranded to Deck Nine and decided to focus on narrative-driven titles. This new chapter started with Life Is Strange: Before the Storm and continued with Life Is Strange: True Colors.
- Right now, Deck Nine is co-developing The Expanse: A Telltale Series with the revived Telltale Games. The title is expected to come out on July 27.