Mediatonic, the renowned UK-based developer behind the viral sensation Fall Guys, has found itself in the midst of a storm as a consequence of the recent layoffs orchestrated by Epic Games. While the studio itself isn’t slated for closure, the anticipated job cuts have sent ripples of uncertainty through the gaming industry.
Epic Games entered the picture by acquiring Mediatonic in March 2021, a strategic move to secure the future of the studio behind the immensely popular battle royale game, Fall Guys. However, the aftermath of this acquisition is proving to be different from what many had expected.
Amid swirling rumors that the layoffs would be so severe as to shutter the entire studio, clarifications have emerged from team members and Epic Games itself. According to an Epic Games spokesperson, “Mediatonic’s work on Fall Guys continues to be a company priority.” Yet, despite this reassurance, dozens of Mediatonic employees are now actively seeking new positions on social media.
The scale of these cuts appears substantial, and the exact number of employees that will remain with the studio remains unclear.
Epic Games recently confirmed a total of 830 staff departures across the company. Of this figure, approximately 16% of the workforce has been affected, with the majority coming from roles outside of Epic’s core areas of focus. An additional 250 employees will leave as a result of Epic Games shedding recent acquisitions, including Bandcamp and SuperAwesome.
Epic’s core focuses include Unreal Engine and Fortnite, where numerous teams continue their work on building new battle royale seasons, expected major game modes, fresh musical experiences, and notable collaborations, such as the one with Lego.
The job losses at Mediatonic, as shared publicly by affected staff on social media, span nearly every facet of the business. This includes IT support, marketing, software development, character artists, gameplay programmers, level designers, producers, and narrative staff. A particularly poignant post by a member of the narrative team revealed that Mediatonic no longer had any writers on its staff.
This development comes on the heels of other job loss announcements within the UK gaming industry, such as those at Creative Assembly following Sega’s cancellation of the game Hyenas.
As the dust settles, the wider games industry watches closely, grappling with questions of stability and the impact of such significant changes within established studios. The fate of Fall Guys and Mediatonic’s future endeavors now hangs in the balance, leaving the gaming community eagerly awaiting further developments.
To add to the uncertainty in the gaming industry, these recent events at Mediatonic have left both industry insiders and fans concerned about the future of Fall Guys and the studio’s upcoming projects.
Fall Guys, with its whimsical take on the battle royale genre, became a global sensation upon its release. Its colorful characters and zany mini-games captured the hearts of players worldwide. However, the game faced its share of challenges, including the need for consistent content updates to maintain player engagement.
With the ongoing job losses at Mediatonic, there is a growing fear that the studio’s ability to support and enhance Fall Guys could be compromised. The departure of key talent, including writers, developers, and artists, may impact the game’s ongoing development and content creation.