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Palia developers lay off a third of staff just weeks after cosy life sim's Steam launch

Can't get too cosy these days

A screenshot of Palia, an MMO, showing a young woman on a hill facing away from the camera, looking down over a cute parochial village surrounded by green hills.
Image credit: Singularity 6

Palia, a cosy, free-to-play life sim, arrived on Steam just a couple of weeks ago. This week, developers Singularity 6 laid off 35% of their staff, thought to be around 49 people.

"Following Palia's release on Steam, we evaluated the support needed to deliver the highest-quality gameplay service for long-term stability. We made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce, which impacted around 35 percent of our talented and hardworking team members," said Singularity 6 in a statement shared with Polygon reporter Nicole Carpenter. "We value their contributions and are committed to supporting them throughout this process, including severance, work-placement and career guidance assistance, and retainment of all company-provided development equipment.

"The decision was not made lightly, and comes after careful consideration of our development and business needs to support Palia and its community. We remain committed to delivering passion in imagination, and maintaining the dedication and creativity that our community expects and deserves. We appreciate your understanding and support of our studio and affected team members."

Several developers from the studio, including artists, writers and programmers, had been discussing being laid off in the day before the official statement was released, with one developer referring to "49 people Thanos snapped".

Palia has been available in beta form via the Epic Games Store since last year, before arriving on Steam on March 25th. It currently has a 'mixed' rating, with several user reviews mentioning bugs. It also seemingly declares that the game is in "beta" when you launch it, although it's not marked as an Early Access game within the Steam store.

The games industry has been decimated by layoffs over the past 18 months. Newly indepedent studio Relic also laid off staff this week.

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