As Magic: Legends winds down, shuttering before it ever existed its open beta, Cryptic Studios has been hit with layoffs due to the closure. According to a former employee at Cryptic, the team has been hit with 44 employees laid off who were working on Legends.
The news came from a former employee (via MassivelyOP) who tweeted about the layoffs around when the news broke of Magic: Legends being canceled. Aaron Walz, a former Senior Sound Designer for Cryptic who worked on Legends, tweeted that the studio had laid off 44 employees as a result of Magic: Legends being shuttered.
"Devastating news to share. Cryptic Studios has decided to cancel Magic Legends for poor financial performance, which sadly means I am without a job. They laid off 44 employees this morning. Please forward any sound designer opportunities."
Devastating news to share. Cryptic Studios has decided to cancel Magic Legends for poor financial performance, which sadly means I am without a job. They laid off 44 employees this morning. Please forward any sound designer opportunities. #gameaudio #sounddesign #gamedevelopment— Walz Music & Sound (@walzmusic) June 29, 2021
For their part, it seems Walz had nothing really bad to say about the way Cryptic handled the layoffs themselves, stating in a follow-up tweet that even the CEO "choked up."
I do have to say, Cryptic handled it very professionally and caringly - as much as possible, anyway. Our CEO was extremely emotional and choked up. https://t.co/Faoo8JWVdf— Walz Music & Sound (@walzmusic) June 29, 2021
We reached out to Cryptic for a comment on the layoffs, as well as what steps Cryptic was taking to make the transition for affected employees easier, which the studio responded with the following statement:
"Cryptic Studios assembled an incredible team of talented developers and passionate Magic: the Gathering fans to bring the Multiverse to life in Magic: Legends. Regretfully, we have announced that Magic: Legends will sunset with the conclusion of Open Beta on October 31, 2021, at 11:59pm. Cryptic is working to find new roles for displaced team members within the company, however the game’s closure will unfortunately result in a reduction in staff. All who are impacted by this reduction will be provided with severance and resources to help them find new employment.
We want to thank each and every individual on the development team who helped turn Magic: Legends into a reality. We wish everyone the best in their future endeavors, and we are confident that their immense talents will land them in new homes soon.
Cryptic Studios remains dedicated to working on its portfolio of online titles, including Neverwinter and Star Trek Online, while also developing exciting new games in the future.”
Other studios have reached out via Twitter for those affected by the layoffs, such as Intrepid's Ashes of Creation team, posting job listings across myriad positions.
The Intrepid team is sending out love to those impacted by the layoffs from @CrypticStudios. We are currently hiring for a wide variety of positions. Shoot us an email with your resume to [email protected] ?????? https://t.co/xJ3WhRuiTF— Ashes of Creation (@AshesofCreation) June 29, 2021
Saddened to learn of the layoffs at Cryptic today. 2K, Firaxis, Private Division, and our other studios are hiring for dozens of roles - I hope we can help!https://t.co/cUlhqmksyI— Evan Berman ? SF East Bay ?? (@Scapes) June 29, 2021
we have just under 400 open roles and are opening more every day at Riot; few free to DM me https://t.co/9oLAtn99W5— mike foster (@mikedotfoster) June 30, 2021
Magic: Legends players have until October 31st to play the ARPG before the servers are shut down. While players can still buy items with the in-game Aether currency, the team at Cryptic has closed the Arc store and will be refunding all purchases made during the open beta ahead of the ARPG being sunset.
Our thoughts go out to all those affected by these layoffs.