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TinyBuild layoffs lead to HakJak Studios being shutdown

HakJak Studios has been shut down due to "restructuring" and layoffs at publisher TinyBuild.

Yesterday (December 5) it was reported (via Eurogamer) that publisher TinyBuild, best known for its Hello Neighbor series, had been hit with layoffs, specifically three studios located in Serbia. 

At the time, it was stated that between 10 and 30 percent of each studio had been affected. Employees were reportedly not informed in advance and were, instead, pulled into one-on-one meetings where they were given the news and let go.

However, today (December 6), it's been confirmed by former employees that HakJak Studios has been shut down amid the layoffs, with some taking to social media to share the news.

"Unfortunately, HakJak Studios has been affected by the 'restructuring' and layoffs at TinyBuild -- our studio has been shut down effective immediately," said producer Amanda Farough on LinkedIn. "To say that I'm devastated is an incredible understatement.

"I'll be posting portfolios, resumes, and lots of love for each of my colleagues. This team, this studio, has been such a bright light in a very challenging year (both personally and professionally) and I'm heartbroken to not be shipping our game. I love this team with every fiber of my being."

HakJak Studios was working on Pigeon Simulator, a "physics sandbox roguelike" before it was shut down. The game had yet to receive an official release date but was expected to launch on PC.

Former narrative director at HakJak, Colin McInerney, also took to Twitter to say, "TinyBuild is shutting down HakJak Studios today. I've been in this industry for over 8 years and it was genuinely the greatest team I've ever worked with.

"I love making video games. I hate how this industry operates. Looking for work in narrative/tech design."

A trading update from TinyBuild details more about the restructuring effort, with CEO Alex Nichiporchik citing "weak demand for video games and the sudden reversal of market dynamics that had favored us over the previous years" for the publisher's struggles, before ending his statement by commenting on the job cuts.

"It's physically painful to part ways with colleagues after all the good work they put into the company," Nichiporchik said. "The only reason to justify this decision is that the company has entered a pivotal stage and I am committed to do everything I can to ensure we get through this tough period. We owe it to all our stakeholders now to bounce back and deliver on what tinyBuild can achieve."

For more, check out our list of the best PC games, along with our picks for the best Xbox Game Pass titles

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