The Callisto Protocol studio to lay off 32 staff

the callisto protocol 32

The Callisto Protocol developer Striking Distance Studios is to lay off 32 employees as it makes “strategic changes”.


Mere weeks after sci-fi survival horror The Callisto Protocol got its last content update – June’s aptly-named Final Transmission – its developer has announced it’s to lay off 32 members of staff.

Providing a statement to IGN, a studio spokesperson wrote, “Striking Distance Studios and KRAFTON [the studio’s parent company] have implemented strategic changes that realign the studio’s priorities to better position its current and future projects for success. Unfortunately, these changes have impacted 32 employees. Honoring the invaluable contributions of each departing team member with material support in the form of outplacement services and meaningful severance packages is our top priority during this difficult moment.”

Based in San Ramon, California, Striking Distance was founded in 2019 by what was then PUBG Studios (which is in turn owned by South Korean holding company, Krafton). The game that ultimately became The Callisto Protocol originally began life as a PUBG: Battlegrounds spin-off, before Dead Space designer Glen Schofield came aboard with his concept for a space horror game.

The Callisto Protocol released in December 2022, and reviews were generally positive if not exactly effusive. Wireframe magazine (this website’s previous, tree-based incarnation) gave the game 73 percent, describing it as a “nuts and bolts survival horror” with some hit-or-miss melee combat.

Sales were similarly good-but-not great; it had reportedly sold two million copies by January this year, which doesn’t sound too bad for an original IP released at a busy time of year. Krafton, however, had expected it to sell a loftier five million copies, and its share price fell as a result.

Striking Distance’s staff count varies depending on where you look; at the time of The Callisto Protocol’s development, it was reportedly around 150 employees; company info sites like RocketReach put the number at over 200.

Among the 32 affected, according to VGC, are associate producer Nora Falcon, production coordinator Sebastian Marlow, and VFX artist Matt Christopherson. Christopherson was among several employees that announced their departure from the studio on LinkedIn. This was picked up by Twitter’s @Taleboules, and led to the story spreading around video game outlets like this one.

“This was my first position in the video games industry and during my time there I have met so many talented people,” wrote level design assistant Justin Fields, “and together we shipped The Callisto Protocol. I am now looking for a new position as a Level Designer.”

Here’s hoping those who’ve lost their jobs find new roles soon.

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