Epic Games, Creators of Fortnite, Announce Job Cuts Affecting 830 Workers


In a recent announcement, Epic Games, the company behind the popular game Fortnite, has made the difficult decision to part ways with approximately 16% of its workforce, which equates to roughly 830 individuals. The move comes as part of a strategic refocusing, with the company’s head, Tim Sweeney, acknowledging the need to reign in spending that he deemed excessively high.

In a heartfelt memo distributed to staff members on Thursday, Tim Sweeney, Epic Games CEO, expressed his prior hope of navigating the company’s evolution without reducing headcount. However, he now realizes that this hope was not tenable.

Statement from Tim Sweeney Regarding Staff Reductions

“The aspiration to avoid impacting our team’s size as we evolved was overly optimistic, in hindsight,” articulated Sweeney in his address regarding the job cuts, which was subsequently made available to the public. He further mentioned that Epic Games is set to withdraw its interest in Bandcamp, the online music platform it acquired in the previous year. This division is slated for acquisition by Songtradr, a notable entity in the music marketplace industry. Additionally, a large segment of Epic’s marketing arm, SuperAwesome, is slated to become a separate enterprise.

A Trend Among Tech Giants

The reductions at Epic Games are part of a larger pattern of workforce downsizing within the technology sector. The industry is currently undergoing recalibrations in the wake of inflated expansion rates seen during the pandemic’s peak. Major players like Meta, Microsoft, T-Mobile, Lyft, and several others have slimmed their ranks earlier in the current year. On the heels of these cuts, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, executed its own series of layoffs, terminating several hundred positions in recruitment in September, following a substantial reduction of 12,000 individuals earlier in January.

The Impact of Epic Games’ Workforce Reduction

The layoffs announced by Epic Games predominantly affect those outside the crux of the company’s development teams, as per Sweeney’s statements. The aftermath of these layoffs has resonated across the team, with various staff members disclosing their affected status on platforms like LinkedIn. The cuts extended to roles involved with Fortnite’s user experience, production divisions, employee fulfillment, and talent acquisition.

Those who find themselves impacted by these layoffs at Epic Games will receive a comprehensive severance package, inclusive of half a year’s base salary, expedited stock options vesting, and continued benefits, as advised by Sweeney.

“We are committed to cost containment, yet without disrupting ongoing development or our central business operations, so we can maintain our dedication to our ambitious objectives,” articulated Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games. “Certain products and initiatives are expected to launch as planned, while others may face delays due to current resource limitations. This calculated schedule adjustment is a trade-off we are prepared to accept if it sustains our long-term vision and objectives.”

The Continuing Courtroom Struggle between Epic Games and Apple

The workforce reduction is also unfolding against the backdrop of Epic Games’ prolonged legal confrontation with Apple. The gaming enterprise and the tech behemoth have been locked in an antitrust dispute regarding the App Store’s payment mechanisms. Both parties have escalated the matter by seeking a review of a previous court ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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