Relic Entertainment, the Vancouver studio behind ‘Company of Heroes,’ lays off 121 employees – GeekWire


Thomas Wilde
2023-05-23 15:07:13

Company of Heroes 3. (Relic Entertainment Image)

The Canadian video game studio behind the Company of Heroes and Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War series is laying off 121 employees.

Relic Entertainment, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C., announced the layoffs Tuesday.

“The combination of significant project delays, rapidly rising costs, high inflation, and foreign exchange rate fluctuations have had a combined negative effect on our business,” wrote Relic’s general manager Justin Dowdeswell and COO Heidi Eaves, in an email that was sent to all Relic employees and reposted on LinkedIn.

“As a result, the measure of success for a company of our size has grown, and it has put more pressure on our titles to succeed in an increasingly competitive marketplace.”

The result is that Relic will downsize to become a smaller studio going forward, with plans to continue supporting its game library. The email states that Relic will “look across all departments and teams” to determine who will be affected.

Relic employs more than 300 people, according to LinkedIn.

Former employees at Relic will receive severance pay, benefits, career guidance, outplacement services, and “additional support as needed,” including meetings with immigration counsel.

Relic was founded in 1997, and released its first title, Homeworld, in 1999. It went on to primarily specialize in the real-time strategy genre. In collaboration with Microsoft Game Studios, Relic developed Impossible Creatures in 2003 and Age of Empires IV in 2021.

Between 2004 and 2012, Relic was owned by the California-based third-party developer THQ, which owned the rights to make video games based on the Warhammer 40K franchise. Under THQ’s roof, Relic developed the Dawn of War series, which released three games and multiple expansions between 2004 and 2017.

Upon THQ’s bankruptcy in 2012, Relic was acquired by the Japanese company Sega, while the rights to the Homeworld franchise went to Texas’s Gearbox Software in a separate deal. Relic’s most recent game, Company of Heroes 3, was released in February.

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