February has been a particularly devastating month in terms of layoffs in the video game industry, with Activision Blizzard and ArenaNet both downsizing their workforce. CD Project Red-owned storefront GOG also seems to be caught with its own financial issues, with at least a dozen staff made redundant last week.
GOG confirmed the development in a statement to Kotaku, but remained tight lipped on the details. It stated that it has “been rearranging certain teams since October 2018,” and that “a dozen” positions had been terminated as a result of the shift.
A former GOG staff member sheds more light on the situation, stating that as many as 10% of the store’s staff had been made redundant due to “financial” reasons. “GOG’s revenue couldn’t keep up with growth, the fact that we’re dangerously close to being in the red has come up in the past few months,” says the anonymous ex-employee.
In fact, GOG’s revenue has reportedly been springing up and down, with the staffer explaining that January saw “excellent” business in comparison to February’s downfall. Although GOG has always had its niche of DRM-free games and classic titles, it’s understandable that it would feel the fluctuation of the market with the newly introduced Epic Games Store and Discord Store offering a larger revenue split to developers. Additionally, it has been stated that the store’s latest game, Gwent has been a financial disappointment according to insider sources.
At this time, we cannot confirm just how many personnel GOG has cut from its workforce but it does seem as though the company is restructuring as it recruits for 20 different positions across Software Development, IT Administration, PR & Marketing, and more.
Elsewhere, an image has been circulating claiming that CD Projekt Red is set to forgo storefront exclusivity despite the trend of restricting games to one platform. The authenticity of the picture remains unconfirmed; however this would mean the studio’s currently in-development RPG Cyberpunk 2077 will reach Steam rather than being exclusive to GOG.
KitGuru Says: It’s never nice to hear about layoffs, particularly when it is a trend that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. We hope that affected staff get back on their feet soon.