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XCOM and Civilization studio Firaxis Games suffers a round of layoffs

Part of Take-Two's "cost reduction program"

The demon queen Lilith holds a green orb of energy in her hand in Marvel's Midnight Suns
Image credit: Rock Paper Shotgun

The widely admired studio behind XCOM and Civilization, Firaxis Games, have undergone a round of layoffs affecting around 30 employees, according to a report from Axios. Publisher 2K Games later confirmed the news and said the job cuts were due to a “sharpening of focus, enhancements of efficiencies, and an alignment of our talent against our highest priorities."

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2K Games also added that Firaxis “remains focused on developing critically acclaimed video games.” That likely includes the next entry in the Civilization series which was recently announced to be in development at the studio, alongside the departure of long-time creative lead Jake Solomon who’s planning to move onto a different genre.

The strategy studio’s last release was Marvel’s Midnight Suns which received a rave reception from critics - our review called it “the best Marvel game yet” - but it struggled commercially, with the company’s CEO pinning the underperformance on a crowded release window.

Despite that underperformance, parent company Take-Two still boasted about their “exponential growth in recent years” back in March, just as they laid off an unspecified number of employees at their publishing label Private Division - the arm responsible for OlliOlli World and The Outer Worlds. At the time, the company said the reductions were necessary “to position the company for another extended period of success.”

Take-Two first hinted at company-wide layoffs in a third-quarter fiscal report where they planned a “cost reduction program expected to yield over $50 million of annual savings” after the company failed to meet revenue forecasts. The cuts at Firaxis are probably a part of that program.

The games and tech industry have seen a barrel of layoffs in recent months, including several job cuts at Microsoft, Relic, EA, Twitch, Riot Games, and many more.

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