Tales of Kenzera: Zou developer Sergeant Studios has announced layoffs

Surgent Studios, the developer behind Tales of Kenzera: Zhou, has announced that it will lay off just over a dozen employees. It follows the release of its first game, Tales of Kenzera: Zau, in April, which launched to rave reviews.

Surgent doesn’t explain why; It says it is focusing on supporting those affected, continuing work on Tales of Kenzera: Zou, and looking forward to future projects.

The studio is here statementfull:

“Unfortunately, Surgent is among the number of games studios affected by layoffs this year. Only twelve people have been affected. It’s a difficult time in the games industry, but we’re incredibly proud of the work of Zhou and our entire team. It’s been well-received by critics and players alike. Our focus is now on supporting those affected, Continuing our work at Zhou and looking to the future with our next creative projects.

Studio head and founder Abubakar Salim voiced the team’s first game, titled Zhou, who released his own statement Regarding Dismissal:

“Thank you so much to those who checked in. It hurts a lot. This is not the news I wanted to share today. I’m so proud of what that team has accomplished over these 4 years. When things get tough, each of them stands strong, so delivering this news today really sucks. It does, but I know we’re not alone here.

“The focus now is on continuing to support those affected in any way we can. I will reply to this with links to the posts of our affected team members. If you have any opportunities available or know of any going on, please consider these amazingly talented people.”

Surgent Studios joins an unfortunately growing list of studios affected by layoffs in 2024.


Last month, Paradox Interactive shut down its Paradox Tectonic studio the same week it canceled its first game, Life By You. Earlier that month, Dead by Daylight developer Behavior Interactive laid off 95 employees. Fay Farm and Dauntless developer Phoenix Labs laid off most of its staff and canceled games in development in May, and the same week, Square Enix announced the layoffs would begin as part of “structural reforms”.

In May, Xbox closed four Bethesda studios, including Hi-Fi Rush developer Tango Gameworks and Redfall studio Arcane Austin. Take-Two Interactive closed rollerdrome studio Roll7 and Kerbal Space Program 2 studio Intercept Games along with major layoffs for its indie-publisher Private Division label. That same week, we learned that Deliver to Mars developer Keoken Interactive had laid off its entire staff.

Elsewhere in the year, EA laid off approximately 670 employees across all divisions, resulting in the cancellation of Respawn’s Star Wars FPS game. PlayStation laid off 900 employees across Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Guerrilla and more, closing a London studio in the process. Earlier in the day, Dawn developer Supermassive Games announced the layoff of 90 employees.

In late January, we learned that Embracer Group had canceled a new Deus Ex game in development at Eidos-Montreal, laying off 97 employees in the process. In January, Destroy All Humans remake developer Black Forest Games reportedly laid off 50 employees, and Microsoft announced layoffs of 1,900 across its Xbox, Activision Blizzard, and ZeniMax teams. Outriders studio People Can Fly laid off more than 30 employees in January, and League of Legends company Riot Games laid off 530 employees.

Lords of the Fallen publisher CI Games has laid off 10 percent of its staff, Unity will lay off 1,800 people by the end of March, and Twitch has laid off 500 employees.

We’ve learned that Discord has laid off 170 employees, layoffs at PTW, a support studio that works with companies like Blizzard and Capcom, and Steamworld build company, Thunderful Group, let go roughly 100 people. Dead by Daylight developer Behavior Interactive also reportedly laid off 45 people.

hearts Game Informer Staff are with everyone affected by layoffs or closings.

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