Playful Studios announce significant layoffs

Super Lucky’s Tale developer Playful Studios has this week announced plans to lay off a large chunk of its full time staff.

An official blog post out of the Texas-based studio from co-founders Paul and Katy Drake Bettner confirmed the move, citing “continued changes in the global video game marketplace” as the reason it’s choosing to pivot “to a more streamlined production model” going forwards.

Best known for Lucky’s Tale and its sequel, Super Lucky’s Tale, Playful has been working on a new “cinematic platformer” for PS4 called Star Child, which was first announced during E3 2017. But towards the end of 2018, Playful suddenly cancelled pre-orders for the game, prompting Paul Bettner to reassure potential customers that the title was still “alive and well” and that the cancellations were due to a shift in the studio’s predicted internal launch date.

As of this writing, it’s unclear if or indeed how these layoffs will affect the future of Star Child.

Read the full statement from Playful below…

Since 2012, we have had the incredible opportunity to collaborate with some of the most talented developers in our industry, to create unique, beloved IP, and cherished original games. We’ve created and shipped multiple titles on a range of platforms to millions of players worldwide, and we are incredibly proud of the work our teams have accomplished along the way. During this time we have taken significant risks to grow our studio, we’ve dared to dream big, and we’ve worked hard to pursue these amazing opportunities together with our friends.

Continued changes in the global video game marketplace require Playful to evolve its approach to the development and production of our current and future projects. The studio will be pivoting to a more streamlined production model based on distributed game development and dynamic, project-based teams.

As part of this transition in our operating model, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to significantly reduce our full-time staff, effective today. We are truly heartbroken to be parting ways with many of our friends and colleagues. These are people who have poured their hearts into every game Playful has created, who have supported us and each other every step of the way, and have truly made this studio what it is today. We will be working closely with each person affected by this transition to help them move forward.


Paul Bettner & Katy Drake Bettner

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