Don't go 'Daybreak'ing my heart: lay-offs continue

Skeletons and ghouls aren't the scariest things this Halloween season... Joe Molander frightens us far more with the harsh reality of industry layoffs and company restructure.

Joe Molander
28th October 2019
Image: IGDB
It’s easy to believe that a company you love isn’t really a company, that it provides goods and services not out of a desire for profit, but out of the goodness of its cold, corporate heart. Gaming enthusiasts labouring under that delusion were in for a shock this month, with Daybreak Games announcing massive lay-offs in the name of achieving their decidedly commercial buzzword of “long-term vision”.

Daybreak, whose major titles include both H1Z1 releases, Star Wars Galaxies and PlanetSide, announced the lay-offs on 11 October. They claimed that they were "taking steps to improve [their] business and to support [their] long-term vision for the existing franchises and development of new games.” Unfortunately, they add that this would “include a realignment of the company into separate franchise teams” which would enable them “to highlight their expertise, better showcase the games they work on, and ultimately provide tailored experiences for [their] players".

"The company as a whole appears to be enduring a rough patch with their H1Z1 Pro-League shutting just seven months after its April 2018 opening..."

The news is hardly surprising given the lay-offs in April last year and the loss of over sixty jobs in December. The company as a whole appears to be enduring a rough patch, with their H1Z1 Pro-League shutting just seven months after its April 2018 opening amidst issues in paying players.

At the same time, when a Russian associate of the company was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department, it suddenly began denying it was owned by investment company Columbus Nova which has ties to Russian entities. This is all despite Sony’s claim in 2015 that Daybreak (then named Sony Online Entertainment) had indeed been sold to the firm.

"Though the phrase usually describes just a year, Daybreak’s annus horribilis started in 2018, and shows no signs of stopping just yet."

Workers have understandably taken the news understandably poorly: on the job site Glassdoors, a disgruntled employee cites the “working environment”, “terrible pay” and “lack of communication from the upper echelons” as reasons not to work for Daybreak, whose management they encourage to “get out of the games industry and go invest in something that better fits the way you like to do things”. Though the phrase usually describes just a year, Daybreak’s annus horribilis started in 2018, and shows no signs of stopping just yet.

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AUTHOR: Joe Molander
Head of Current Affairs and co-founder of The Toon Lampoon. Politics, interviews, satire and the Courier's leading authority on frosted tips. @JoeMolander on Twitter and full portfolio available on Muckrack.

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