Unity is probably going to do layoffs

Illustration by Cath Virginia / The Verge

In its Q3 earnings report published Thursday, game development software company Unity announced that it will “likely” be implementing layoffs as part of broader cost saving measures.

In the report, the company says it is assessing its product portfolio “to focus on those products that are most valuable to our customers” and is “evaluating the right cost structure that aligns with the more focused portfolio.” It plans to make changes during the fourth quarter, and they will “likely include discontinuing certain product offerings, reducing our workforce, and reducing our office footprint.” The company expects to complete its changes before the end of Q1 2024.

Unity has taken a beating the last few months. In September, it announced a disastrous new pricing model that sought to charge developers meeting certain criteria every time a user downloaded a Unity game to a device. The announcement was met with vocal backlash from indie developers, ridicule from and increased interest in competing game engine companies, and a boycott. In the aftermath, CEO John Riccitiello announced his retirement and Unity eventually amended its pricing model. But the damage to the company’s reputation within the game development community has already been done.

Layoffs have become an unfortunate trend in the video game industry this year. Whole studios have been shut down, while companies commit massive layoffs after rapacious acquisitions. News of potential layoffs and restructuring at Unity comes even as the same earnings report stated that the company’s third quarter results were “mixed” with revenue falling within expectations. “While revenue came in within guidance, we believe we can do better,” the report says.

One wonders then if “better” could have meant not pissing off a vocal chunk of its users.

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