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Life is Strange: True Colors studio Deck Nine lays off 20% of staff

Deck Nine Games, the studio behind Life is Strange: True Colors and last year’s The Expanse: A Telltale Series, has announced it’s laying off approximately 20 percent of its total workforce, blaming “the game industry’s worsening market conditions”.

Deck Nine is perhaps best known as the current steward of Square Enix’s supernatural narrative adventure series Life is Strange, having created 2017’s Life is Strange: Before the Storm, 2021’s Life is Strange: True Colours, and a remaster of series originator Don’t Nod’s acclaimed first instalment in 2022. More recently it co-developed a prequel to popular sci-fi TV show The Expanse alongside the revived Telltales Games.

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Deck Nine confirmed its decision to lay off a fifth of its staff – likely around 30 employees based on its most recently shared headcount – in a statement on social media, writing, “Like many others in the games industry right now, Deck Nine has been affected by the game industry’s worsening market conditions. Today we made the difficult decision to lay off 20% of our staff.”

The Expanse: A Telltale Series – Gameplay Trailer (2023)


Deck Nine’s most recent title, The Expanse: A Telltale Series, launched last year.

“These people are amazing, talented, and awesome developers,” the studio’s statement continued. “They have made a huge impact during their time at Deck Nine Games and we did not take this decision lightly. Please hire these people if you can, they’re amazing.”

Deck Nine’s decision to lay off 20 percent of its staff marks the second round of job cuts at the studio in less than a year. Last May, it confirmed it “was forced to lay off thirty amazing people”, but did not provide a reason why.

Deck Nine is just the latest developer to be hit by layoffs in what continues to be a devastating period of uncertainty for games industry employees. Widespread cuts saw over 9,000 workers loose their jobs in 2023 and layoffs have only intensified since then, with over 7,000 games industry layoffs having been announced in the first two months of 2024 alone. Just this week, Sony announced it’s laying off 900 employees globally, while Until Dawn developer Supermassive cut 90 jobs and Saltsea Chronicles studio Die Gute Fabrik revealed it had been forced to halt production, with all team members now looking for new work.

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