What you need to know
- Relic Entertainment is a studio under Sega Europe that has worked on games like Dawn of War, as well as co-developing Age of Empires 4 with Xbox studio World's Edge.
- Relic Entertainment's most recent game, Company of Heroes 3, was released back in February.
- Relic Entertainment is going through layoffs, with 121 employees being laid off.
- The Age of Empires team has since confirmed that development on AoE 4 will continue.
Update, May 25, 2023, at 3:00 p.m. CT — Following the devastating news that Relic Entertainment is being affected by widespread layoffs, the Age of Empires team took to Twitter to assuage player concerns. Development on Age of Empires 4 will continue as planned, according to the message.
In the light of the unfortunate news from Relic, we wanted to confirm that the development of Age of Empires IV will continue as planned. We'll be delivering everything we've announced. The next major update will be a new Season coming soon. pic.twitter.com/nG4TZUb5FzMay 25, 2023
There are no further details regarding the situation, including whether Relic Entertainment is continuing to assist with Age of Empires 4 (or if World's Edge is taking over completely), but the AoE team did confirm that they will be delivering everything that has been announced for Age of Empires 4. The next major update will apparently come in the form of a new Season, and it's right around the corner.
Our original article continues below.
If you are tired of hearing about game studios and publishers going through layoffs, brace yourself, because there's more bad news.
Relic Entertainment shared on Tuesday via Twitter that 121 employees are being let go from the studio in what was described as an "incredibly difficult" decision with blame placed on "external factors" and no other details. Prior to the layoffs, Relic Entertainment had over 300 employees.
An announcement from Relic Entertainment. pic.twitter.com/EITW2tbG7wMay 23, 2023
Relic Entertainment, a subsidiary of Sega's Europe division, previously worked on a number of games such as the original Homeworld games, the Dawn of War and Company of Heroes franchises, and more. More recently, the team co-developed Age of Empires 4 with World's Edge under Xbox Game Studios. The game launched on Windows PC back in 2021, with an Xbox console version currently in development and slated to launch later this year.
Relic Entertainment and SEGA are still committed to supporting and investing in the studio's existing games like Company of Heroes 3, but it's unclear how this will be affected by the layoffs.
These layoffs come on the back of a turbulent past several months, with massive layoffs in gaming and tech across Apple, Amazon, CD Projekt RED, Deck Nine Games, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Sony, and many others.
Windows Central's take
Obviously, my thoughts are with the 121 employees who were laid off. That is a massive cut, and I really hope everyone affected can land on their feet.
Outside of that, I'm really, really, really tired of hearing about layoffs. I understand that sometimes there's simply no alternative because a project has gone wrong or a company isn't making money, but that hasn't been the case for a great number of the companies that have been all-too-eager to make cuts.
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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.
- Zachary BoddyStaff Writer