Animation Industry Layoff Tracker Animation Industry Layoff Tracker

2023 has been an ugly year for the animation industry. As labor unions revolt across Hollywood and media conglomerates bear the consequences of streaming growth at any cost, the animation industry (and its sister vfx and gaming industries) has been caught in the middle. Work has dried up and many studios have cut back on employment.

Our new layoff tracker is an attempt to keep track of significant layoffs that are happening across our industry. It includes only layoffs that we’ve been able to confirm and we will work to keep this updated as a resource for the community. If you have news about layoffs, please contact us.

If you are currently unemployed and looking for work, we suggest following this spreadsheet with a constantly updating list of animation job listings.

2023 Animation, VFX, Video Game Layoff Timeline

August 31 – Deep Silver Volition: Swedish video game holding company Embracer Group shuttered Saints Row developer Volition as part of a larger restructuring at the company. Around 240 employees worked for Volition at the time of the shutdown.

August 23 – Bioware: The Electronic Arts-owned video game developer will lay off 50 employees at its studios in Edmonton, Canada, and Austin, Texas. The studio is nearing completion on Dragon Age: Dreadworld and is in pre-development on Mass Effect. Both projects will continue despite the layoffs.

August 15 – Industrial Light & Magic: Disney-owned Industrial Light & Magic plans to shut down its animation and vfx production facilities in Singapore. The studio shutdown will affect approximately 300 employees. Launched in 2006, the Singapore studio was ILM’s first international location. Disney said the shutdown was “due to economic factors affecting the industry.”

July 20 – DNEG: The studio that handled vfx work on Oppenheimermuch of it uncredited – and animation on the Emmy-nominated Entergalactic, laid off dozens of workers at its London headquarters.

June 13 – Embracer: The Swedish video game and entertainment conglomerate announced a major restructure of its businesses including layoffs and studio closures. They did not make clear how many of the company’s 16,600 employees or 138 game development studios would be affected, but the company aimed to cut costs by at least 10% yearly.

June 6 – Pixar: The Walt Disney Company-owned Pixar let go of 75 workers (6% of its staff) at its Emeryville, California-based studio. It was the biggest round of layoffs at the company since 2013. Among the layoffs were Angus MacLane and Galyn Susman, the director and producer respectively of Lightyear.

May 25 – Kabam: The game developer behind Marvel Contest of Champions laid off 12% of its workforce. In a release, the company said, “This restructuring provides greater financial flexibility to invest in new growth areas while also streamlining our existing development teams.” Online sources estimate the number of layoffs to be around 90.

May 9 – Paramount: The company revealed it would cut 25% of workforce in its Showtime, MTV Entertainment Studios, and Paramount Media Networks groups because of “broader economic headwinds.” The impacted positions were those that became redundant as the company consolidated its struggling cable channels like MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central into a single portfolio group.

May 5 – Dreamworks Animation: One of L.A.’s largest animation producers, Dreamworks laid off 33 employees, or about 2% of its workforce, as parent company NBCUniversal made cuts across several of its divisions. A Dreamworks statement said the layoffs were part of a larger cost reduction plan and that most of those affected were in support roles.

May 3 – Unity: Developer of the real-time game and animation engine, Unity revealed it was slashing 600 positions, roughly 8% of its workforce. It was the company’s third (and largest) round of layoffs in the past year.

January 5 – Vimeo: The New York-based video tools company reduced its workforce by 11% (estimated to be around 125 people) as it continued to struggle since pivoting from a video streaming site to tech platform.

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Jamie Lang

Jamie Lang

Jamie Lang is the Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.

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