Cadence of Hyrule developer reportedly lays off half of its staff

brace yourself games

Brace Yourself Games, the studio behind Crypt of the NecroDancer and Cadence of Hyrule, has cut 50 percent of its staff and cancelled upcoming projects.


Vancouver-based studio Brace Yourself Games has seemingly let go of half of its workforce. The studio is probably best known for the 2015 rogue-like rhythm-action game Crypt of the NecroDancer, as well as the spinoff Cadence of Hyrule in 2019, which took NecroDancer's rhythm-based movement and fighting, and transferred it to the Legend of Zelda universe.

As reported by Game Developer on 19th May, former staff at Brace Yourself Games have taken to Twitter to say they have been laid off as part of the firm cutting 50 percent of its workforce. Former senior producer Crystal Savin said they had been let go after just four months at the company, while game designer Nikita Kotter was made redundant after four years of working at Brace Yourself Games. Art director Antonie Lendrevie was let go after six years at the Vancouver company.

In a statement to PC Gamer, Brace Yourself Games confirmed there had been layoffs, but didn’t provide an exact number. LinkedIn lists the company as having 43 employees, so potentially the cuts could affect 20 or more people if the 50 percent figure is correct.

“Yesterday, senior management at Brace Yourself Games made the incredibly difficult decision to lay off a portion of the company‚Äôs staff,” says the company’s statement. “This decision was not made lightly, as we deeply value our talented and dedicated employees. As part of our commitment to our employees, we are providing severance packages and support services to assist those impacted by this decision. We are also working to address the impact on our remaining team members and to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our players.”

The most recent release from Brace Yourself Games was Phantom Brigade, a turn-based tactics game which emerged from Early Access in February. The title’s recent reviews on Steam are ‘mixed’, and it currently has a Metacritic rating of 70.

Brace Yourself Games has shelved some unannounced projects as a result of the layoffs, but the firm told PC Gamer that it will continue work on Synchrony – upcoming DLC for Crypt of the NecroDancer – as well as the spinoff Rift of the NecroDancer. In addition, work will continue on Phantom Brigade and on another unannounced game.

The layoffs at Brace Yourself Games are just the latest in a series of redundancies to hit the video game industry in 2023, as part of a wave of job losses affecting the entire tech sector.

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