Homeworld 3 studio Blackbird Interactive hit with layoffs

The studio behind Homeworld 3, Homeworld: Deserts Of Kharak, and Hardspace: Shipbreaker have cut a number of jobs, explaining this is “part of a realignment plan that’s necessary because of new projects that were shelved by some of our partners”. Blackbird Interactive haven’t confirmed the number of people who lost their jobs, nor have they said what the mystery projects were. It’s been a grim year for people working in the video games industry, with thousands losing their jobs, and we’re only halfway through February.

“Due to economic pressures outside of our control, we had to take the unfortunate step of separating from some friends. This is part of a realignment plan that’s necessary because of new projects that were shelved by some of our partners,” the company confirmed in a statement to Game Developer.

“We looked at multiple ways of avoiding this and regretfully other options weren’t viable. Because the affected team members are our BBI family, we want to help position them well for this next stage of their careers. We’re offering a suite of extended benefits and severance to help ease this transition.”

Best of luck to everyone at Blackbird, and everywhere else.

According to one unofficial tracker, the games industry has cut an estimated minimum of 6000-ish jobs cut in 2024 so far. The estimate for all of 2023 was 10,500. Those figures don’t include companies who didn’t reveal numbers, mind, so it’s likely even more people have lost their jobs.

Back before he became our Edwin, Edwin Evans-Thirlwell wrote for us about the union politics of Hardspace: Shipbreaker. Unionisation is one hope employees have for a better chance of a fairer shake in this nightmare industry, and it has seemed to help protect union members at some companies, like Microsoft—though not at others, like Sega.

Blackbird and Homeworld 3 publisher Gearbox recently delayed the long-awaited spaceship strategy sequel following feedback from playtesters and the public War Games mode demo (which is no longer available). Previously due on March 8th, it’s now expected on May 13th.