Embracer has been revealed to have laid off employees at Lost Boys Interactive.
As reported by Video Games Chronicle, Lost Boys Interactive has been working as a support studio for Gearbox since 2017. Titles they have worked on include Borderlands 3 and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands.
In 2022, Gearbox made the ill-fated decision to buy Lost Boys Interactive. In the time between then and now, the studio raised headcount in their acquisition to 400 employees.
Neither Embracer, Gearbox, or Lost Boys themselves have spoken up about the layoffs. Several former employees broke the news themselves, on LinkedIn and other places.
Jared Pace, who was himself a studio producer for Lost Boys, shared on his LinkedIn that he is:
“Still trying to understand the scope of it all. But sadly this is a song and dance we’re all familiar with.”
While we don’t publicly know the extent of their work, Lost Boys is already one of the most successful support studios in the industry. The pedigree of Gearbox titles, including recent projects like Borderlands 3 and Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, prove how good their body of work is.
And so, what was last year’s bad news is now an unexpected curse. If Gearbox, presumably under orders from parent company Embracer, did not move to buy Lost Boys and then increase its employee, it would not have had to now fire many of those recent hirings.
Ultimately, of course, responsibility for this goes to Embracer. The holding company went on an acquisition spree, collecting many smaller games and studios that were still independent. While they could have done this growth in a way that was easier to process and would have been more sustainable, they did speedrun their way into becoming one of the biggest publishers in the industry.
But, we do have to point out at this point, this was rumored to have been done in service of a big time acquisition, rumored to be initiated by the Saudi prince, probably via Savvy Games. If true, this sounds like something Savvy made Embracer do so that they would immediately gather esteem in the industry.
We don’t know why that big time deal didn’t push through, but if this all goes back to Saudi Arabia, then that country, or at least Savvy, did leave Embracer holding the bill after forcing them to make these changes that they would not have been able to fund on their own. And that’s true if it turns out to be a different entity or individual.
Without absolving Embracer of responsibility, that big time acquisition company does share in the blame for this too. GameRanx wishes the best for the former employees of Lost Boys Interactive, and we hope they can find jobs to keep them in the industry.