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Warframe publisher Digital Extremes confirms layoffs, plans to give up control of Wayfinder

These developments follow a recent change in leadership at the company.

Some players in Wayfinder.
Image credit: VG247/Airship Syndicate/Digital Extremes

Digital Extremes, the publisher behind live service behemoth Warframe, has confirmed that it’s shutting down its publishing arm and will be handing control of Wayfinder back to developer Airship Syndicate.

These developments have led to an unknown number of employees being laid off, mainly from the company’s publishing and external projects wings, with Polygon reporting that, according to two sources, “at least 20 people were let go”. It’s now unclear whether Digital Extremes has any plans to publish external games like Wayfinder going forwards, though it definitely seems to be focusing its attention internally for now.

"We can confirm we have made the difficult decision to cease operations of our external projects division," a representative for the publisher said in a statement issued to PC Gamer, which seems to be similar to those revived by several other outlets. "We have had to say goodbye to a number of hardworking and highly valuable team members as a result and we're working with Airship to transition full control of Wayfinder to them in the coming months."

After it was announced late last year that Digital Extremes and Airship Syndicate would be entering a partnership in order to publish the game, Wayfinder arrived in early access this August to mixed reviews. You can read our preview of it from March here.

These layoffs follow a reshuffle of Digital Extremes’ leadership last month, which saw James Schmalz, who founded the company all the way back in 1993, step down from his position as CEO. Soulframe game director Steve Sinclair was tapped to take his place in the role going forwards.

This is just the least round of job cuts in what’s been a pretty terrible year for the entire games industry layoff-wise. Just before the calendar flipped over to November, we learned of cuts at Sony-owned developer Bungie, with companies ranging from Microsoft to Team 17 having laid off staff earlier in the year.

Meanwhile, it’s also recently been reported that Embracer Group could be planning to shut down Timesplitters studio Free Radical Design as part of a restructuring.

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Mark Warren avatar

Mark Warren

Senior Staff Writer

VG247’s Senior Staff Writer, Mark has seen more mods for Bethesda games than any person ever should. You can often find him enjoying an RPG, getting too invested in Madden’s terrifying franchise mode, or crashing expensive virtual cars into things.