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Worms, Blasphemous and Overcooked publisher Team17 is the latest video game company to face job losses

What a terrible few months for the industry it’s been

A Worm pilots a helicopter over the map while dropping explosives in Worms WMD
Image credit: Team17

The recent spate of job losses across the video game industry in recent weeks and months is set to continue at Worms creator-turned-indie publishing powerhouse Team17. The UK company behind Worms, Blasphemous, Overcooked, Dredge and more is reportedly facing “significant” job losses and has seen its CEO depart as it looks to restructure.

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Eurogamer reported that Team17 staff were informed of the restructuring and consultation process in a company meeting this morning, with the consultation period due to last until November.

Team17 later confirmed the plans to VG247, as well as confirming that CEO Michael Pattison, who joined in late 2021 after almost a decade handling third-party dev and publisher relations at PlayStation, had departed after almost two years.

"In response to the reports concerning the departure of Michael Pattison from Team17, we can confirm we have amicably parted ways with Michael," a Team17 representative said. “We can also confirm that we have sadly entered into a period of consultation today within Team17 Digital, with Astragon and Storytoys remaining unaffected by the restructuring plans."

Four players attempt to prepare food in a barn-themed kitchen in Overcooked 2

Most of the publisher’s QA team is said to be affected, with 50 staff - predominantly junior QA analysts - at risk as Team17 reportedly looks to outsource quality assurance. It is currently unclear which other departments will be affected by the restructuring plans, and how many staff will be impacted.

Team17 laid off devs across its art and design teams in March as part of a stated “re-alignment”, with staff told at the time that additional layoffs would not happen.

Last year, a number of Team17 staff alleged poor working conditions at the company, including reports of low pay, long hours and management concerns. The complains followed widespread backlash against Team17’s plans for NFTs, which saw staff - who reportedly weren’t warned of the announcement beforehand - facing public harassment.

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The NFT project was cancelled the day after it was revealed. At the time, Pattison promised that “action will be taken” in light of the “real problems” raised, which included claims of low salaries for QA staff.

Team17’s planned job losses follow a devastating few weeks for the games industry as a whole, as Sega cancelled Creative Assembly’s upcoming loot-shooter Hyenas - leading to expected layoffs across the UK studio - and Epic Games revealed it would cut over 800 staff, including devs at Fall Guys studio Mediatonic.

The latest round of layoffs continues what’s proved to be a devastating 2023 for the industry, ranging from the closure of veteran Saints Row devs Volition under Embracer (which is undergoing its own brutal restructuring process) to the end of Shadow Gambit studio Mimimi and layoffs at BioWare, CD Projekt Red, Relic, Scavengers Studio and EA.

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