Striking Distance, the studio known for developing the alien horror game ‘The Callisto Protocol’, has recently announced layoffs affecting 32 employees. The studio’s publisher, Krafton, stated that these job cuts are part of an effort to realign the company’s priorities and position their current and future projects for success. While the specific reasons for the layoffs were not disclosed, it is clear that Striking Distance is undergoing significant changes.
The news of the layoffs was initially shared on social media by impacted employees, including associate producer Nora Falcon, senior environment artist Matthew Smith, and production coordinator Sebastion Marlow. This sparked discussions and concerns within the gaming community regarding the future of the studio and their projects. Striking Distance and Krafton later confirmed the layoffs in a joint statement to IGN, expressing their support for the affected team members.
A Look at ‘The Callisto Protocol’
‘The Callisto Protocol’, released last year, was eagerly anticipated by fans as a spiritual successor to the beloved horror franchise, ‘Dead Space’. Led by Glen Schofield, the former producer of the ‘Dead Space’ series, expectations were high for the game’s success. However, a report revealed that the game would need to sell five million copies to recover its substantial production budget. Sadly, as of January 2023, it had only sold two million units.
Reviews of ‘The Callisto Protocol’ highlighted issues with its unconventional combat controls and technical problems, particularly on the PC platform. Alice Bee, in her review, expressed concerns about these issues and stated that while there were patches to address some of the PC version’s problems, the overall experience was just “alright”. These challenges likely contributed to the game’s underperformance in the market.
With the studio going through a period of restructuring, it is clear that Striking Distance and Krafton are focused on positioning themselves for future success. The joint statement released by the companies emphasized their commitment to supporting the departing employees, offering outplacement services and significant severance packages. While the layoffs are undoubtedly difficult for those affected, it is a necessary step for the studio’s future growth and development.
Striking Distance Studios’ recent layoffs mark a significant shift in their priorities and strategy. As they navigate these changes, fans of ‘The Callisto Protocol’ and the gaming community as a whole will be eagerly awaiting updates on the studio’s future projects and their ability to overcome the challenges they currently face.