Smilegate, Developer of Crossfire and Lost Ark, Closes Barcelona Branch
Gaming News Layoffs

Smilegate, Developer of Crossfire and Lost Ark, Closes Barcelona Branch

Nathan Lees
Nathan Lees

A recent update from director Stephane Blais via LinkedIn has revealed the unfortunate news of the closure of Smilegate Barcelona, a studio established in 2020 with the goal of developing an open-world AAA console title. Blais, who has previously worked with Eidos Montreal and Ubisoft, shared on his LinkedIn page that all employees at the European arm of the Korean Crossfire company are set to be laid off.

In his statement, Blais expressed his disappointment, saying, "As our industry is starting to look more and more like a game of Battleship, it is our turn to be hit. Smilegate Barcelona is closing down. All employees are being laid off." He also praised the hard work and dedication of the team in trying to save the studio.

Prior to his role at Smilegate Barcelona, Blais had an impressive track record as a narrative design director on Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, and as a narrative director for Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Far Cry 5.

With the challenging climate in the gaming industry, it's no surprise that job cuts have become a common occurrence. A report estimated that around 10,500 game industry employees were laid off last year, and with 8,000 planned job cuts already confirmed in the first three months of 2024, the trend seems to be continuing.

The GDC State of the Game Industry survey highlighted the impact of layoffs in the industry, revealing that a third of developers experienced layoffs at their workplace in the previous year. Looking ahead, concerns about future job security remain high, with a significant percentage of respondents expressing varying levels of concern about potential layoffs in the coming months.


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