Fortnite maker Epic Games laying off 16% of its workforce

Epic acquired Bandcamp last year and bought SuperAwesome in 2020.

San Francisco: Fortnite game developer Epic Games on Thursday announced to lay off 16 per cent percent of its employees, impacting nearly 870 people.

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney sent an email to Epic employees, saying the company is laying off around 16 per cent of Epic staff.

“We’re divesting Bandcamp (online audio distribution platform) and spinning off most of SuperAwesome (a kid-safe technology developer),” he announced.

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Epic acquired Bandcamp last year and bought SuperAwesome in 2020.

“For a while now, we’ve been spending way more money than we earn, investing in the next evolution of Epic and growing Fortnite as a metaverse-inspired ecosystem for creators. I had long been optimistic that we could power through this transition without layoffs, but in retrospect I see that this was unrealistic,” Sweeney said.

Bandcamp is now joining Songtradr, a music marketplace company supporting artists.

SuperAwesome’s advertising business will become an independent company under the SuperAwesome brand, led by their current CEO Kate O’Loughlin.

Kids Web Services (KWS), the parent verification and consent management toolset, will remain part of Epic, the CEO announced.

“Saying goodbye to people who have helped build Epic is a terrible experience for all. The consolation is that we’re adequately funded to support laid off employees: we’re offering a severance package that includes six months base pay and in the US/Canada/Brazil six months of Epic-paid healthcare,” wrote Sweeney.

The company is also offering to accelerate people’s stock option vesting schedule through the end of 2024 and are giving two additional years from to exercise the options.

“We’re cutting costs without breaking development or our core lines of businesses so we can continue to focus on our ambitious plans. About two-thirds of the layoffs were in teams outside of core development,” he said.

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