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Halo And COD Support Dev Lays Off 25 People, Citing "Unprecedented Challenges"

This was Certain Affinity's first big layoff event in the company's 17-year history.


Certain Affinity, an independent game developer known for assisting on mega-franchises like Call of Duty and Halo, has laid off a significant number of workers in just the latest example of mass layoffs in the video game industry.

In a blog post, CEO Max Hoberman said the video game industry has faced "unprecedented challenges" in the past 12 months, and Certain Affinity is not immune to those issues. In response, Certain Affinity is laying off 25 of its US-based workers. The majority of those impacted are on teams handling business operations, Hoberman said. Certain Affinity's website said the company has about 250 employees, so 25 layoffs works out to around 10% of the company. That percentage might not be accurate given that Certain Affinity also operates in Canada, nor do we know when the website might have been updated last.

This was Certain Affinity's first mass layoff in the company's 17-year history. Explaining the cuts, Hoberman said the "most significant" element was the "industry-wide slowdown" of funding for the kind of work that Certain Affinity does, which includes co-development. Additionally, third-party investors are showing "reluctance" to fund games and game companies, and this has made it "exceptionally difficult to sign new work or secure other forms of funding."

Affected staffers at Certain Affinity are getting severance pay and continuing benefits. Additionally, those being let go are having their vested stock awards made "portable" so affected staffers are still able to reap the rewards down the road.

"We have built an amazing culture where we all come together to support one another in times of need. We ask for your understanding and patience while we navigate this unprecedented event. Thank you," Hoberman said.

Based in Austin, Texas, Certain Affinity has worked on huge franchises like Call of Duty, Halo, Mafia, Doom, World of Tanks, Hogwarts Legacy, and more. The studio has made its own games, too, including Age of Booty and Crimson Alliance. Looking ahead, Certain Affinity is making its own original FPS game, currently in the works under the codename Project Loro.

The company's founder and CEO, Hoberman, was the multiplayer/online lead for the Halo series at Bungie before leaving to start Certain Affinity in 2006.

2024 has been another tough year for game developers, with a reported 8,000+ layoffs in the video game industry so far this year. Some are expecting the run of mass layoffs to continue. For more, check out GameSpot's piece on video game industry layoffs and how we got here.

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