Worms Publisher Team17 Suffers Layoffs, CEO Leaves Company
The majority of the publisher's internal QA department has reportedly been let go.
Team17, the developer behind the Worms franchise as well as the publisher of indie games like Overcooked and Dredge, is estimated to have laid off around 50 employees. In addition, Team17 CEO Michael Pattison has left the company.
As reported by Eurogamer, around 50 roles, mostly in Team17's internal quality assurance department, have been let go after what has been described as a restructuring following a company-wide town hall meeting. According to Eurogamer, Team17 will instead be looking to outsource QA work for its games moving forward, with most of the positions being let go consisting of junior QA analysts.
In a statement to VG247, a Team17 spokesperson confirmed Eurogamer's report that Pattison was departing the company. Pattison worked as CEO for two years, having joined Team17 in October 2021 after having previously worked at PlayStation.
"In response to reports concerning the departure of Michael Pattison from Team17, we can confirm we have amicably parted ways with Michael," a Team17 spokesperson 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."
This isn't the first time Team17 has suffered layoffs this year. As Eurogamer also reported earlier this year, members of the publisher's art and design teams were let go back in March, but were allowed to apply for other positions within the company. Last year, Team17 walked back plans for Worms-themed NFTs after backlash from fans and development partners. Following the NFT backlash, Team17 employees spoke out about poor pay and working conditions at the publisher.
Team17 isn't the only video game company to have been hit by significant layoffs recently. Epic Games let go of more than 800 employees last week, about 16% of the Fortnite creator's workforce. Epic CEO Tim Sweeney said the company had been "spending way more money than we earn" for "a while," and concluded that layoffs were "the only way" to reach financial sustainability. Blizzard's Hearthstone team was also hit by layoffs, despite Blizzard revenue having increased 160% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2023 thanks to the record-breaking launch of Diablo IV.