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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Unity is reportedly laying off hundreds of employees

Word is spreading through different channels about ongoing layoffs at Unity that are impacting hundreds of employees about the globe. In the last 24 hours, Unity employees have apparently confirmed word of layoffs on anonymous tech discussion platform Blind, and also in anonymous accounts shared with Kotaku.

The layoffs are reportedly focused in the AI and Engineering divisions, and are apparently still ongoing. Workers have described being pulled into 1-on-1 Zoom meetings with managers or human resources employees, who then shared the bad news.

Unity is apparently promising to pay workers for a month after their layoff, and will offer a further month of severance pay and COBRA health coverage beyond that.

Workers posting on Blind and speaking to Kotaku expressed frustration at recent comments from CEO John Riccitiello, who allegedly asserted that the company was not in any financial trouble and would not be laying off anyone any time soon.

Employee over the company’s financial performance may have risen from “challenges with monetization products” that it previously disclosed would impact its 2022 financials. By contrast, the company did manage to beat revenue estimates in the fourth quarter of 2021, though it still isn’t turning a profit. 

Word of the layoffs seems to be hitting the company’s stock price, which has gone from $44.46 per share to $39.52 per share since 10AM on June 28. Six months ago, it was trading at $145.92 per share.

Unity spent much of 2021 on an acquisition spree, buying high-profile companies like special effects software maker WETA and smaller companies like Ziva Dynamics and SyncSketch.

And in a more unsettling note for the games and tech industry, they’re not the only San Francisco-headquartered company sending employees home without jobs today. Niantic laid off a chunk of its workforce just this morning.

Unity has not made any public confirmation of layoffs. We’ve reached out to the company and will update this story when it responds.

Update: A Unity spokesperson has confirmed the layoffs in a statement and explained that around 4 percent of the company’s workforce will be impacted by the decision to “realign” its resources.

“As part of a continued planning process where we regularly assess our resourcing levels against our company priorities, we decided to realign some of our resources to better drive focus and support our long-term growth,” they explained. “This resulted in some hard decisions that impacted approximately 4 percent of all Unity workforce. We are grateful for the contributions of those leaving Unity and we are supporting them through this difficult transition.”

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