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DRM-free store GOG lays off a reported 10% of its staff

Layoffs hit at the CD Projekt store

GOG summer sale

GOG, the DRM-free storefront owned by CD Projekt, has let go of a dozen employees – an estimated 10% of the business’s staff. The company’s official statement suggests that this is part of a restructuring process which has been going on since October. But sources among the affected employees add that GOG has been “dangerously close to being in the red” over the past several months.

“Letting people go is never easy,” a GOG representative tells Kotaku. “We have been rearranging certain teams since October 2018, effecting in closing around a dozen of positions last week. At the same time, since the process started we have welcomed nearly twice as many new team members, and currently hold 20 open positions.”

One of the laid-off employees paints a somewhat more distressing picture. The company has apparently struggled over the past handful of months, as the anonymous employee tells Kotaku, and February was “a really bad month” despite excellent numbers in January. The general restructuring was “not unprecedented,” but “layoffs that big have never happened before.”

It’s also noted that a general move toward higher revenue share for developers could end up affecting the bottom line. The Epic Games Store has introduced an 88% revenue share for developers – significantly better than the 70% offered by Steam, GOG, and most other digital stores.

According to CD Projekt itself, GOG is “incomparably smaller” than Steam, and the potential difference in Thronebreaker sales led to that former exclusive coming to Valve’s platform.

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Of all the alternatives to Steam, GOG is perhaps the only one which has met with broad praise from players, thanks to its DRM-free releases and lavish digital packaging for older games.