Tales Of Kenzera: Zau Developer Surgent Studios Announces Layoffs

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Surgent Studios, the developer of Tales of Kenzera: Zau, has announced that it is laying off just over a dozen employees. This comes after the release of the first game, Tales of Kenzera: Zau, in April to positive reviews.

Surgent did not provide a reason for the decision; the company says it is focused on supporting those affected by the disaster, continues work on Tales of Kenzera: Zau, and plans for future projects.

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This is the studio statementfully:

“Unfortunately, Surgent joins the growing number of game studios affected by layoffs this year, with just a dozen or so people affected. This is a difficult time for the games industry, but we remain incredibly proud of the work our entire team has done on Zau and the praise we have received from critics and players alike. Our focus now is on supporting those affected, continuing to work on Zau, and looking forward to our next creative projects.”

Studio head and founder Abubakar Salim, who voiced the titular Zau in the team’s first game, has released his own statement regarding dismissals:

“Thank you so much to those who have checked in. This hurts so much. This is not the news I wanted to share today. I am so proud of what this team has accomplished in these past 4 years. When the going got tough, every single one of them was so powerful, it was inspiring. So to share this news today really sucks. I know we are not alone, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

“Our focus right now is to continue to support those affected in any way we can. I will respond with links to posts from members of our team who are impacted. If you have opportunities available or know of any, please consider these incredibly talented individuals.”

Unfortunately, the list of studios affected by layoffs in 2024 continues to grow.


Last month, Paradox Interactive closed its Paradox Tectonic Studio the same week it canceled its first game, Life by You. Earlier that month, Dead by Daylight developer Behavior Interactive laid off 95 employees. Fae Farm and Dauntless developer Phoenix Labs laid off most of its staff and canceled its in-development games in May, and the same week Square Enix announced it would begin layoffs as part of “structural reforms.”

In May, Xbox shuttered four Bethesda studios, including Hi-Fi Rush developer Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin’s Redfall studio. Take-Two Interactive closed Rollerdrome studio Roll7 and Kerbal Space Program 2 studio Intercept Games, and also carried out major layoffs at its indie label Private Division. That same week, we learned that Deliver Us developer Mars Keoken Interactive had laid off nearly its entire staff.

Elsewhere this year, EA laid off about 670 employees across all departments, prompting the cancellation of Respawn’s Star Wars FPS. PlayStation laid off 900 employees at Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla and others, while also closing its London Studio. A day earlier, Until Dawn developer Supermassive Games announced it was laying off 90 employees.

In overdue January, we learned that Embracer Group had canceled a novel Deus Ex game that was in development at Eidos-Montréal and was laying off 97 employees. Also in January, Destroy All Humans remake developer Black Forest Games reportedly laid off 50 employees, and Microsoft announced it was also laying off 1,900 employees across its Xbox, Activision Blizzard, and ZeniMax teams. Outriders studio People Can Fly laid off more than 30 employees in January, and League of Legends developer Riot Games laid off 530 employees.

Lords of the Fallen publisher CI Games has laid off 10 percent of its staff, Unity will lay off 1,800 people by the end of March, and Twitch has laid off 500 employees.

We also learned that Discord laid off 170 employees, that layoffs occurred at PTW, a support studio that has worked with companies like Blizzard and Capcom, and that SteamWorld build Thunderful Group laid off around 100 people. Dead by Daylight creator Behavior Interactive also reportedly laid off 45 people.

Hearts Game guide Employees stand with all those affected by layoffs or company closures.

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