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SEGA to reportedly lay off 240 staff, as Company of Heroes developer Relic announces plans to go independent following sale

Creative Assembly, Sega Europe, and Hardlight will be affected by the cuts, according to reports.

An eye with the SEGA logo on it.
Image credit: VG247/SEGA

SEGA is reportedly planning to cut 240 jobs across a number of its studios, with Total War developer Creative Assembly, SEGA Europe, and Sonic Dream Team developer Hardlight being the studios set to be affected by these layoffs. Meanwhile, the publisher has announced that it's sold Company of Heroes developer Relic, which now plans to go independent.

This news is the latest to break in what's been a terrible year for games industry layoffs so far, especially among big publishers, with Microsoft having laid off 1,900 staff from its video game division in late January, and PlayStation having let 900 staff go just last month. While the numbers involved in these cuts aren't as huge, they do also follow SEGA of America laying off 61 people earlier this year, after announcing plans to "phase out" tepmorary workers in controversial fashion late last year.

According to GamesIndustry.biz, most of the layoffs are set to affect staff at Creative Assembly and Sega Europe, while Hardlight will seemigly see a smaller number of cuts. Neither Two Point Hospital studio Two Point Studios or Football Manager developer Sports Interactive, both of which are also owned by SEGA, were mentioned as part of these cuts.

Alongside news of the layoffs, SEGA has revealed that it's sold Company of Heroes developer Relic Entertainment, with Relic having since confirmed that it's planning to become an independently-run studio. "Sega is working closely with Relic on this shift, and we wish them the best for the future," Sega Europe head Jurgen Post wrote in an email notifying staff of the changes.

"I want to sincerely apologise for the worry and understandable distress this news will cause, particularly for those directly affected," he went on to write, "These decisions have been incredibly tough to make, and they follow meticulous consideration and deliberation with leadership teams across the business."

Regarding the reasoning behind the moves, Post used some phrases which match the kind of sentiment we've heard far too many times from games industry execs recently. "We need to streamline, focus on what we are good at, and position ourselves as best we can for the road ahead," he outlined, "In order to do that, we need to respond to the changing economic landscape and the challenges we’re facing in the way we develop our products and bring them to market."

In its own statement posted to Twitter, Relic revealed that it'll be continuing to support its games and put out updates for Company of Heroes 3 as it transitions to indepedence with aid from an unnamed "external investor", writing of the latter: "we are looking forward to the 1.6 update in April, loaded with new content and features requested by our community".

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