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Company of Heroes and Dawn of War devs Relic suffer layoffs one week after reclaiming independence from Sega

Job losses apparently needed to give studio “the best possible chance to survive in an increasingly volatile industry”

Relic Entertainment, the freshly-independent developers of Company of Heroes, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and Age of Empires IV, have confirmed a number of job losses. The layoffs come just a week after the studio announced their sale from former owners Sega, returning them to independence after two decades.

On LinkedIn, Relic confirmed that an unspecified number of staff would be laid off (via Eurogamer, external development producer Robyn Smale stated in a separate post that 41 staff had been affected), adding that the decision was “made solely with the goal of providing Relic the best possible chance to survive in an increasingly volatile industry”.

The news comes just one week after Relic announced they had been sold by Sega to an external investor, resulting in the company becoming an “independently run development studio” again for the first time since their sale to THQ 20 years ago. They were subsequently picked up by Sega in 2013, going on to work on the fourth mainline entry in the Age of Empires series and release threequels to both Dawn of War and Company of Heroes.

Alongside the news of Relic’s independence, Sega Europe announced their own widespread layoffs last week, with more than 200 staff cut across teams including Total War makers Creative Assembly - who had already suffered layoffs in September as part of the cancellation of costly extraction shooter Hyenas.

Orcs fight power soldiers in Warhammer 40K: Dawn Of War II

Relic’s latest round of layoffs come less than a year after more than 120 staff were cut last May. In a joint statement at the time, Relic and Sega cited “external factors [that] are challenging our industry” and the need to restructure and focus on “core franchises” as the reason for the job losses.

“We're confident that following this necessary restructuring, Relic will be in a position of strength to continue delivering outstanding experiences to players all over the world,” the developers and publishers claimed back then.

“To those we are saying goodbye to, we are deeply sorry that it has come to this,” the studio’s latest post reads, adding that those freshly laid-off would receive severance, benefits and outplacement support.

Relic recently confirmed they would continue to support Company of Heroes 3 as an independent studio, with the game’s 1.6 update due out this month, but are yet to announce their next new project.

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