Media Molecule, the PlayStation Studios developer known for creating the community-driven game Dreams, has been hit with a round of layoffs, the company announced this week. The studio confirmed as much in a statement shared publicly that did not mention specifics, though reports that preceded it suggested that around 15-20% of Media Molecule staff would be laid off. These layoffs follow Media Molecule's announcement from earlier in the year that it'd be ending the support of its Dreams game in order to work on a new project, but Dreams itself is still very much playable.
The reports of the Media Molecule layoffs were quickly followed by the statement below from the developer that confirmed the news. Media Molecule again referenced its new project to indicate that's still in the works, but we don't currently know anything about what that game might be.
A message from Media Molecule. pic.twitter.com/tV4ZNkdgAF— Media Molecule (@mediamolecule) October 24, 2023
Dreams was more akin to a platform-like experience than a game itself given that its whole purpose was to be a framework for players themselves to make games and other experienced to be played within it. It was akin to other build-your-own adventure games like Super Mario Maker and Roblox where people would put in tons of time crafting experiences for others to play or would just play the games that other people had already made, some of those games and experiences made by Media Molecule itself.
Whatever you wanted to call it, it was interesting, but perhaps not interesting enough to retain a strong playerbase. The game was added to the PlayStation Plus lineup earlier in the year, but that was after the announcement about Media Molecule ending support of the game and before support actually ended, so getting invested in the game even if it was free was probably a much less incentivizing pitch for newcomers. Considering how the game came out in 2020 and has always been a PlayStation exclusive, many felt it was added to the subscription service far too late.
"As we continue to evaluate and evolve our priorities for the studio and Dreams, we've made the difficult decision to discontinue live support for Dreams after 1st September, 2023 to shift our focus to an exciting new project," Media Molecule said earlier in the year. "You'll continue to be able to play, create and share Dreams with others after September, but we won't be releasing any more updates to the game or events such as DreamsCom, All Hallows' Dreams or the Impy Awards."
The company has not yet shared details on what it's working on next.
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