Following yesterday’s awful news that PWE and Cryptic were canceling and sunsetting Magic Legends even before it had ever left beta or landed on console, we learned that at least some of the staff had been laid off, and indeed we posted as much as other studios began offering condolences and job opportunities. But we hadn’t imagined just how many people were being let go rather than moved to other PWE and Cryptic games. That appears to be at least 44 people, according to one of the affected employees who posted the headcount publicly.
“Cryptic Studios has decided to cancel Magic Legends for poor financial performance, which sadly means I am without a job,” tweeted Aaron Walz, who’d been a Senior Sound Designer at Cryptic working on the title. “They laid off 44 employees this morning. Please forward any sound designer opportunities. […] I enjoyed making the sound for this game and am very sad. […] The rest of the audio dept is safe because they don’t work on Magic. I was in charge of Magic and on that team, so sadly, my position was eliminated. […] 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.”
As we noted yesterday, Magic Legends began as an MMORPG downgraded into multiplayer RPG that was plagued with delays, monetization woes, and a perceived lack of communication from the team. It’s not entirely clear how sudden the decision was; while there was certainly a sense that the game wasn’t performing well in beta, it also just saw an update a week ago.
The lights go out October 31st, 2021, but not before PWE refunds players in full. Again, our sympathies to those affected by the layoffs.