Yesterday’s surprising news that Magic: Legends would be shutting down in just a few months means that Cryptic Studios will soon have a lot of positions that are no longer necessary. And this is one unfortunate case where “soon” for a gaming company means “right now.”
As MassivelyOP noticed, Senior Sound Designer Aaron Walz Tweeted out that “They laid off 44 employees this morning,” while saying that “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.”
He also noted that Cryptic handled the matter “very professionally and caringly” and that “Our CEO was extremely emotional and choked up.”
It’s that last part that raises an eyebrow for me. For Walz’s part, I thought the sound of the game was fine. I’d imagine that most of the other people who were laid off worked in similar roles, whether it be on the graphics for the game, the engine, community management, or so on. They did their jobs to the best of their ability, working as they were directed by their superiors.
Those higher-ups, though? The ones who made the decisions about the direction of the game that their employees carried out and that proved unpopular enough with fans for it to be shut down just a few months into beta? They usually survive this kind of bloodletting. If the “emotional and choked up” CEO doesn’t want to be in that situation again, those are the people who need to be replaced.