The heads of the Polish studio Starward Industries at a meeting with investors announced the dismissal of 15 of the 34 employees.
According to management, the layoffs almost did not affect the "core staff" of the studio. The only change in it is the resignation of founder and CEO Marek Markuszewski. Nevertheless, Markuszewski remained a key shareholder in Starward Industries.
The reason for the layoffs was the need to optimize costs. The studio did not say whether this was due to sales of The Invincible, a thriller based on the novel of the same name by Stanislaw Lem, released in November 2023.
Speaking about the results of the game, studio executives referred to the statement of the publisher 11 bit studios, according to which The Invincible had recouped the costs by January 2024. The money has not reached Starward Industries yet, but the studio does not expect them before February-March: first, 11 bit studios needs to receive money from Steam and other sites itself.
Earlier, the developers reported weak initial sales of The Invincible. The gross revenue of the game for the debut week amounted to 3.2 million zlotys or $ 790 thousand. According to analysts, the budget for marketing and development of the game was much larger — 17 million zlotys ($4.2 million).
Starward Industries expects that The Invincible will show good financial results in the long term. Studio executives note that "most of the best-selling games" in this genre were not very popular at the start either, but they have been selling steadily for a long time.
Now Starward Industries is in the final stage of negotiations on financing, which will help the studio protect itself in the event of a deterioration in sales of The Invincible.