Australian Studio Behind NFT Card Game Gods Unchained Hit With Staff Redundancies

Australian Studio Behind NFT Card Game Gods Unchained Hit With Staff Redundancies
Image: Immutable

Melbourne-based game development studio Immutable has been hit with redundancies.

News of the redundancies made its way online last night when former Gods Unchained developer James Wakeham tweeted that he’d been let go and was looking for work.

Wakeham, who had been a senior game designer at the company, wasn’t specific about the scale of the situation in his tweet, saying that he “and a bunch of other people” had been made redundant.

When contacted by Kotaku Australia for comment on this piece, a spokesperson from Immutable’s US branch provided us with a statement. Here it is in full:

We have made the decision to conduct a small reorganization within Gods Unchained to help better enable us to achieve our goal of creating the next generation of web3 games. We continue to hire aggressively in Immutable Studios, Gods Unchained, Guild of Guardians and Immutable X. We are actively increasing hires across product, engineering and tokenomics in Gods Unchained as we focus on scaling it to mainstream and beyond.

This was a difficult choice and one that was made after thoughtful review. We hate to lose members of our team and will ensure a smooth transition for those affected by the reorganization.

Immutable started the year at 120 FTE, and are now at 280 employees. We continue to grow at pace and are on track to reach 360 total headcount in the next five months, with expected growth beyond that.

Immutable is known for being Australia’s largest studio dedicated to web3 games. It currently has two titles in its portfolio: Gods Unchained, released in March 2021, is a strategy card game for Windows and Mac. Action RPG Guild of Guardians is still in development at Stepico Games but is bound for mobile platforms. Immutable will publish.

Both games are driven by blockchain technology and put NFTs and play-to-earn mechanics at the centre of their play experience. Like many attempting to stand out in web3 gaming, Immutable is bullish about the technology that drives its games, using extremely strong and persuasive language to sell the supposed benefits of play-to-earn.

Immutable’s statement about aggressive hiring is pertinent. Despite the redundancies, Immutable is indeed currently advertising for quite a lot of jobs at offices around the world. Of these openings, a total of five in-office vacancies currently exist in the APAC region across Go To Market business solutions and its games studio.

Further, a whopping 24 positions are currently open to remote workers across Australia. These include roles as a Creative Director and UI Designer on Gods Unchained, and a Creative Designer and Senior Product Manager on Guild of Guardians. A host of software engineering and communications jobs litter the rest of the list.

None of the jobs on Immutable’s Lever page are dated, so it’s hard to know when they were listed. Similarly, it’s hard to know which, if any, are related to the redundancies.

Immutable was founded in 2018 by Alex Connolly and James and Robbie Ferguson and is part of the blockchain company Immutable X.

In September 2021, the Fergusons secured $82 million in Series B funding to help build the NFT trading tech powering its games. In March this year, it partnered with US retailer GameStop on its new NFT marketplace. That marketplace was in the news this week when it was forced to remove an NFT depicting the Falling Man, an image of a person leaping to their death on 9/11.

More as it develops.

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