Gameloft Brisbane Lays Off 15 Employees Just Before Christmas

Gameloft Brisbane Lays Off 15 Employees Just Before Christmas
Ballistic Baseball was the most recent game from Gameloft's Brisbane studio, which launched on Apple Arcade earlier this year.

Staff at one of the biggest game publishers left in Australia have just been delivered the worst pre-Christmas news, with Gameloft Brisbane laying off 15 employees earlier this week.

The layoffs happened earlier this week, Kotaku Australia understands, with multiple sources confirming the layoffs with the studio. The Australian chapter of Game Workers Unite, the representative organisation for game developers and games industry workers, said they were “deeply concerned”. Kotaku Australia reached out multiple times to Gameloft locally, but the studio did not respond prior to publication.

“GWU Australia is deeply concerned by these layoffs and particularly that they have occurred so close to Christmas,” GWU Australia told Kotaku Australia. “We are attempting to speak to some of the people affected and would urge anyone with more information, or who wants to have a confidential discussion about their rights and entitlements, to contact us immediately.

The figure is a substantial chunk of the studio, with unofficial figures compiled by the local games industry putting Gameloft Brisbane’s headcount at 58 full-time equivalent employees. The layoffs would mean that around a quarter of the studio is now seeking work just a month before Christmas, although Kotaku Australia has not been able to independently verify how many still remain at Gameloft Brisbane.

Gameloft Brisbane’s most recent project was Ballistic Baseball, a competitive mobile baseball game which launched on Apple Arcade on September 19.

If you are one of the developers affected, or know someone who is, please get in touch.


  • I’ve never quite understood why getting laid off “just before Christmas” is seen as a particularly egregious thing, say, relative to the general suckiness of getting laid off more generally.

    Surely, if you’re going to be laid off, it would be best to do it now so that you can cancel that expensive trip to Bali and cut back on the number of crappy gifts you’re about to buy for people who don’t need them, rather than a month or two afterwards when you’re actually paying off those credit card debts?

    Although, seriously, it’s still mid-November guys, when does the statute of limitations for “before Christmas” actually end?

    • If the shops have Cristmas stuff up then it’s before Christmas.

      It’s generally seen as worse because it’s a shitty time to be looking for work, puts stress on folks with families and other commitments and adds uncertainty at a bad time.

    • Totally agree, i don’t celebrate Christmas myself its just another day for me. If Christmas is a time for family to get together and whatnot you can do that any time of the year.

      I’ve been laid off twice in my life once was redundancy the other the business went bankrupt, I had just gotten back from Japan about three weeks when I was made redundant, it made things worse when I found out my redundancy was planed out before I even applied for holidays.

      • Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas or not, most businesses shit down during the Christmas period and are in “go slow” mode in the weeks leading up to and just after the Christmas break. Most businesses will not be hiring during this time. It’s probably the worst time of year to be looking for work.

      • lol – classic answer. Apparently doesn’t celebrate Christmas so doesn’t understand the issue some might have with it? Joke response.

        • It’s also an opportunity to ask a question and get a fair answer, walking away understanding more, which is what happened here ^.-

    • I’m going to take a guess and say you live in the same state and/or city you were born in, your family is nearby, you never have to travel to see family, and Christmas isn’t a big deal for you and your family.

      I also guess you don’t work in the games industry – an industry that’s notorious for forcing you to only take breaks at certain times of the year (which is nearly always only at Christmas time), and an industry that’s notorious for crunch, paying you “time in lieu” for that crunch, which you save up for Christmas break, and which you do not get compensated for when being made redundant.

      I guess if you were in these circumstances, you’d completely understand why losing your job right before Christmas is worse than any other job losing scenario, and empathise better with a bunch of people who have just lost their jobs.

    • Now is a bad time to start a job search. I resigned from my previous role just before Christmas last year thinking that the start of the year would be a good time for job hunting, not so.

      A lot of positions don’t start going up until late Jan, with the application window closing late Feb. A lot of the people getting let go this week may be looking at not being able to start until March next year if they want to hold off for a similar position.

    • You seriously cannot understand why Christmas could compound the anguish? The article hardly states that this is the only time when being made redundant could be viewed negatively …

      • And I hardly state that it’s not a shitty situation to be in. It’s a situation that I have been in, several times in fact, and I’d rather know in advance that I need to save money than get all ooh muh hysterical about someone scrooging on my peace on earth, Kris Kringles and endless socialising with relatives who I otherwise have no interest in talking to for the rest of the year. What’s the alternative, that the devs should have been let go two months ago?

    • Next to no-one’s hiring from the start of November to early/mid-January. Corporate HR is out, all the leave applications are in, and the minimum wage ‘Christmas casual’ positions all got filled weeks (if not months) ago.

      It’s a rotten fucking time of year to lay people off for that fact alone, let alone the extra financial commitments people are likely to have already made in advance of the national holiday, which can’t just be ‘cancelled.’

      (Also, there’s only one week left in the month. It’s late November, not mid.)

      • I can assure you that as someone whose employment situation is a little precarious, and having one eye on what is and isn’t cancelable in advace, there are a great many expenses that I could save myself.

        For example, I might not get back the cost of my flights but I sure as hell can avoid the accomodation and car hire costs, the eating out and dozens of other expenses while away, plus I can cancel several other bits and pieces for a small deposit hit.

        All up, right now, with flights booked for mid December I reckon I could save or get back an easy 80-85% of my proposed trip costs.

        And anyone who thinks they can walk straight into another role, Xmas or not, is certainly not working in game design or most other industries I have any familiarity with.

        Most companies have a couple of weeks lead time just for the ad in the paper, then a week or two before turning around an offer of an interview, another week waiting for the interview, then another week or two before getting on the phone with a job offer, then an expectation that anyone not actually unemployed would have to give four weeks notice.

        In practice, even in a best case scenario, very few people would be starting a new job before mid Jan anyhow, but sure, at this point add a couple of weeks on top because of Xmas shutdown if that’s a thing in your industry.

      • I also find it quite hillarious that you think that game developers might even have got a look-in for ‘Christmas casual’ positions at DJs or EB, if only they had been let go from their professional positions a couple of months earlier.

        • Dude. When you’ve just stopped working and are staring down the barrel of probably months of unemployment and next to no savings, you will take literally anything you can get, no matter how much pay you were on previously. I know this because I’ve fucking been there.

          • Dude. I’ve been there many times, and I can assure you that there ain’t many unemployed game developers, architects, industrial designers, or long term unemployed people over 50 working Christmas shifts in retail. That market is exclusively reserved for young, attractive university students.

            It’s got nothing to do with the desperation of the employee, it’s got to do with the hiring decisions of retail middle managers. If for no other reason than, as you say, those jobs are locked in months in advance and anyone obviously looking for a full time job in a professional field will be passed over on the prospect that they may have actually got a real job in the two months it takes for three weeks of Christmas to come around.

            Not to mention that three weeks of any crappy minimum wage work breaking up your unemployment is going to cover you in shit with Centerlink paperwork and Robodebt.

            You appear to live in the Scott Morrison world of infinite job opportunities where everyone, no matter their age or qualifications, is employable anywhere and everywhere.

            You also appear to live in a world where Christmas casuals are actually a thing, as opposed to the vast majority who are simply casual student employees during the university semester that move up to full time hours for a three week period over Christmas.

    • As someone whose contract is running out before Christmas, job ads dry up about now and don’t start to flow again until late January/early February. Being out of a job on December 20 means that you’d better have exceptional contacts if you’re going to be employed again by the start of February.

    • Because the majority of people are going on holidays, businesses are shutting down and going on holidays which means hiring generally doesn’t occur, this can mean that new jobs won’t be advertised or considered for months now which means even longer out of work.

      Not to mention the stress of holiday season with an uncertain future on top.

      You really have no empathy at all or the ability to think things through do you?

  • I have been through two involuntary administration events and they both happened just before Christmas. Well, technically one occurred just after Christmas but that’s only because the bosses were nice enough to hold off until then so we could at least enjoy it without the shadow of unemployment hanging over us. It sucks and I hope those affected are able to land on their feet.

    • It’s sort of a double edged sword… If you find out after the fact that they waited to fire you until after Christmas on the grounds of not wanting to be dicks, I couldn’t fault someone for still being pissed. They’ve cost you time you could’ve been using to find other employment, and there is also the consideration of money you might have otherwise not spent during Christmas with the knowledge you were being let go.

      As much as everyone loves to pull the “Nobody hires around Christmas!” line, it’s simply not true. It might be quieter sure, and it largely depends on industry as some simply won’t care about holiday periods as they simply go about their business like Christmas doesn’t even exist.

      So while not EVERYONE will be hiring, having weeks/months go by not even knowing you should be applying for the jobs that ARE being advertised is a little bit fucked.

      • For what it’s worth, I’ve been keeping one eye on opportunities in my industry and I’ve seen nothing but a flood over the last four weeks.

        I suspect it’s a financial year thing. People get a new budget in July or early August then sit on their arse for a couple more months, or hold half a dozen committee meetings, before finally getting the job ad out around November with the expection of a mid Jan start.

        Just looking objectively at the data, the most the job market fluctuates is by around 20%, month to month. As you say, it’s simply not true to say that nobody hires around Xmas.

      • Building industry usually picks up around Christmas, people want a new undercover area for their Christmas party or the new toy they bought needs a garage.

        If your laid off around Christmas try talking to someone on a building site, if you can’t swing a hammer you can at least push a broom, I’ve gotten a few days of work here and there doing that when my hours were reduced massively at one of my previous jobs.

  • Well guess what Gameloft is going to get for Christmas this year a layoff meaning they won’t be getting anything on Santa’s nice list for Christmas now that 15 Gameloft employees have been laid off since Activision laid off 800 employees and Blizzard laying off 209 employees earlier this year.
    That’s right Gameloft Activision and Blizzard is getting a layoff on Santa’s Christmas list this year that will teach them for laying off employees.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!