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2023’s great games were overshadowed by a dark cloud of layoffs

Vector collage showing two laid off workers in the shape of a video game controller.
The Verge / Photos via Getty Images

Layoffs are an unfortunate reality of any industry, but the scope and scale of video game layoffs in 2023 are far beyond a typical year. More than any specific video game or piece of news, layoffs defined the past 12 months. Companies large and small have felt their impact. Unofficial figures estimate 9,000 workers have been affected, and at the heart of it all are corporations that valued growth at all costs — including people.

In September, Epic Games laid off 830 employees. In a statement, CEO Tim Sweeney wrote, “We’ve been spending way more money than we earn. […] I had long been optimistic that we could power through this transition without layoffs, but in retrospect I see that this was unrealistic.” Some of that spending was on…

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