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Embracer lay off staff at Insurgency studio New World Interactive and cancel unannounced project

Support for Sandstorm to continue alongside development of other unannounced games

A firefight in military shooter Insugrency: Sandstorm, with one friendly soldier visible in the foreground.
Image credit: Focus Home Entertainment

Insurgency developer New World Interactive are the latest Embracer Group-owned studio to lay off staff, as part of the Swedish conglomerate's efforts to reduce their debts after a series of reckless studio acquisitions. It's not clear how many people have been affected, but New World Interactive's direct corporate parent Saber Interactive have revealed that one unannounced project has been cancelled.

"Saber can confirm there have been restructuring changes involving our New World Interactive subsidiary," reads a Saber statement shared today. "This reorganization has unfortunately resulted in layoffs at the studio."

"We are working to fill existing open roles within Saber with individuals affected by these changes wherever feasible and we will be providing severance packages to those employees impacted," it goes on. According to the statement, only one New World Interactive project has been cancelled. The studio will continue to work on Insurgency: Sandstorm, their flagship military shooter, together with several other unannounced games. Saber have also denied a rumour that New World Interactive as a whole are being shuttered.

Embracer laid off over 900 people this summer, following a seemingly endless series of studio purchases that saw the Group take on over 200 game development projects, before the reported collapse of a $2 investment billion deal sent the whole process into reverse. Amongst other "restructurings", Embracer have closed Red Faction creator Volition, cut Chorus developer Fishlabs down by half, and laid off two dozen staff at Mythforce studio Beamdog.

The Saber announcement follows reports from Second Wind's Nick Calandra and Insider Gaming, as passed on by VG247. According to IG, Saber broke the news to staff this Monday 4th December.

Officially founded in 2010, New World Interactive began life as a group of modders working with Valve's Source Engine. The studio's breakout release was Source conversion Insurgency: Modern Infantry Combat, which they subsequently fleshed out into a standalone shooter, Insurgency, in 2014. Then came 2018's Insurgency: Sandstorm, which Matt Cox (RPS in peace) was sufficiently impressed by to use the dread word "immersive", calling attention to its sound design in particular.

Best of luck to everybody at NWI who has lost their jobs this week.

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Insurgency

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Insurgency: Sandstorm

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Edwin Evans-Thirlwell avatar

Edwin Evans-Thirlwell

News Editor

Clapped-out Soul Reaver enthusiast with dubious academic backstory who obsesses over dropped diary pages in horror games. Games journalist since 2008. From Yorkshire originally but sounds like he's from Rivendell.

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