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Everywhere and Mindseye developer Build a Rocket Boy announces layoffs

PCGamesN source confirms GTA vet Leslie Benzies' Build a Rocket Boy is the latest game development studio to announce multiple layoffs.

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February 20, 2024, 2:45 PT: Build a Rocket Boy has reached out to PCGamesN with a statement on the layoffs. This has been added to the text below.

A PCGamesN source has confirmed that Build a Rocket Boy, the developer founded by former Rockstar North president and long-time Grand Theft Auto producer Leslie Benzies, has proposed laying off a currently unknown number of staff globally. Benzies founded Build a Rocket Boy in 2018 following a break from Rockstar in 2016.

Build a Rocket Boy fully revealed its debut game, Everywhere, in 2022. It’s a multiplayer shooter with a focus on user-generated content. Its second game, a mysterious sci-fi project called Mindseye, was first teased alongside Everywhere’s announcement and then revealed in a March 2023 trailer. It boasts a more photorealistic visual style and is a story-driven action game.

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A source tells PCGamesN that the layoffs notably affect the publishing department, QA, and art teams. The layoffs were first announced internally on February 19. In response to this article, Build a Rocket Boy has reached out to PCGamesN with an official statement.

“While we have made great progress developing our products, we are now in a position where we need to make changes to the way we work across our business in order to become a more agile studio and to meet the requirements that our projects demand.

“To achieve that and refocus, we have taken the extremely difficult decision to propose the removal of a number of roles globally. This process is ongoing and we are working with those impacted at this difficult and challenging time.”

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Last year, Build a Rocket Boy announced plans to open a studio in Montpellier, France. This would complement the two existing studios in Edinburgh and Budapest. Our source tells us the layoffs affect all three studios. Neither Everywhere nor Mindseye currently has a release date.

Build a Rocket Boy is the latest in a growing list of developers to lay off staff over the past year, with Riot Games and Activision Blizzard among them. A new Deus Ex game from Eidos Monteral was also canceled, with an unspecified number of staff being laid off in the process.