Last week, Epic Games made headlines when it announced plans to cut 16% of the company's staff. A lot of the cuts seemed to impact Mediatonic, the developer of Fall Guys. The move drew a lot of criticism for Epic Games, with many taking issue with the leadership of CEO Tim Sweeney. Following the news, Hatoful Boyfriend developer Hato Moa revealed that she has not been paid royalties on the game since 2021, when Epic Games first acquired Mediatonic. On Twitter, Moa noted that Mediatonic's acquisition led to the game being delisted from multiple storefronts, though it's still available on Steam.
"I'm so sorry to hear that lovely talented people from Mediatonic have to leave now. I wish they will find a better place soon," Moa wrote on Twitter. "btw I've got no royalty payment for Hatoful Boyfriend from Epic since they acquired Mediatonic back in spring 2021. I don't think the sales have been zero for two years?"
In follow-up Tweets, Moa noted that, because of the game's age and removal from the PlayStation Store, Apple Store, and Google Play, "the total sales should have been much lower than before," and any potential lawsuit "would not be worth the money and time." A day after the initial Tweets from Moa, Epic Games Publishing sent a Tweet replying to the developer, stating that they are looking into the situation. At this time, it's unclear if any other Mediatonic games were similarly impacted when Epic Games took over the company, or if Hatoful Boyfriend is the only game where royalties went unpaid.
Companies Impacted by Epic Games Layoffs
Throughout several Tweets about the situation, Moa frequently noted support for the employees at Mediatonic, hoping "they find a new great position somewhere." While Mediatonic has not been closed as a result of the layoffs, Bloomberg's Jason Schreier noted that the developer has been "was hit very hard" by the layoffs. While Mediatonic will remain a part of Epic Games, other companies under their umbrella will not as a result of the restructuring plans. Notably, Bandcamp is being sold off, and the advertising company SuperAwesome will become an independent company.
Reasons for Epic Games Layoffs
Multiple reasons were provided for the recent layoffs at Epic Games. CEO Tim Sweeney sent an email to employees stating that "investing in the next evolution of Epic and growing Fortnite as a metaverse-inspired ecosystem for creators" was partly to blame. While Sweeney did not directly attribute the layoffs to the company's three-year long battle with Apple, the email did mention that Epic Games has "been taking steps to reduce our legal expenses" while "continuing the fight against Apple and Google distribution monopolies and taxes." That same day, Paul Tassi of Forbes questioned just how much the company has been spending on this particular crusade.
We are looking into this and the team will be reaching out to you directly.— Epic Games Publishing (@EpicPublishing) September 29, 2023
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