Striking Distance Studios, known for last year’s AAA horror release The Callisto Protocol, has laid off 32 employees. After several former employees began to speak up about the layoffs, the developer’s parent company, Krafton, reached out to IGN with the following statement:
Striking Distance Studios and KRAFTON have implemented strategic changes that realign the studio’s priorities to better position its current and future projects for success. Unfortunately, these changes have impacted 32 employees. Honoring the invaluable contributions of each departing team member with material support in the form of outplacement services and meaningful severance packages is our top priority during this difficult moment.
It’s been less than a year since the initial release of The Callisto Protocol, and our own review of the game was quite favorable. We noted that if players were looking for a Dead Space clone, they might be disappointed. However, if they were looking for a brand-new AAA horror title that was “satisfying and engaging with a lot to offer,” this was the right experience for them.
Unfortunately, the game’s overall review rating on Steam sits at “Mixed.” Due to a number of launch-day performance issues, the negative reviews came pouring in and though these issues were quickly addressed, the game was unable to reach a positive review rating.
The Callisto Protocol‘s expected sales had to be significantly lowered as well. Publisher Krafton acknowledged that even achieving two million versus the original forecast of five million was not going to be easy.
With an investment of $161 million poured into development over the three years leading up to release, it’s understandable that Krafton is unhappy with the game’s sales figures.
And with the release of The Callisto Protocol: Final Transmission DLC in June, perhaps the publisher was hoping for some elevated sales numbers. However, the DLC also has a “Mixed” user rating on Steam. In short, the game’s future doesn’t seem to look too bright, and speaks to the unfortunate layoffs at Striking Distance.