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Dark Souls, Elden Ring board game maker cut one-third of employees in recent “restructure”

Nearly 20 workers at Steamforged Games were hit with redundancies and left shocked.

Monster Hunter: world promotional image from video game
Image credit: Capcom

The company behind the Dark Souls RPG and board game, along with the upcoming Elden Ring board game, recently slashed one-third of its workforce in a recent round of redundancies. Steamforged Games told Dicebreaker that the losses were part of a “restructure”, but those affected say it goes deeper.

According to an anonymous former worker speaking to Dicebreaker via interview, nearly 20 employees at the high-profile board game publisher were told in early March their jobs would be lost to redundancies. The cuts reportedly hit every department, from design to 3D modelling and brand management, and predominantly affected newer hires who had worked at Steamforged Games less than two years.

The job losses follows a year in which the company allegedly hired 20 new employees in order to handle the influx of projects on Steamforged Games’ plate - the disastrous launch of the Dark Souls RPG was followed by a massive Kickstarter campaign for an equally massive Elden Ring board game series, and the company recently announced a standalone follow-up to Monster Hunter World: The Board Game.

The source claimed that many could see the writing on the wall for several months. They said senior management decreased the budgets for many teams in November 2022, suddenly enforcing overly strict itemised budget lists before any funds were approved. The company allegedly cut way back on its convention and show presence to save money.

Dicebreaker's list of the 20 best board games hitting tables in 2023.Watch on YouTube

On March 3rd 2023, Steamforged Games allegedly told employees that their pay reviews would be postponed until September. The source claimed their reasoning included “Asmodee and Hasbro dumping cheap stock into the market”, presumably affecting sales in such a way that employees could not expect scheduled raises.

When asked for comment, Steamforged Games provided Dicebreaker with the following statement:

“SFG can confirm a restructure of business operations was recently completed and that, as a result, some employees sadly had to leave the business by reason of redundancy. SFG will be making no further comment on this confidential and now-completed process.

Following the restructure, we’ve continued to grow and develop Steamforged with the acquisition of Altar Quest from Blacklist Games (May 2, 2023); the delivery of the Monster Hunter World: The Board Game Kickstarter to more than 20,000 backers worldwide; and the appointment of Krystal Kennedy as Head of Marketing (May 3, 2023), who is entrusted with establishing and developing our brand presence, and championing further growth of Steamforged for our customers and community

At Steamforged, we are committed to our team and have been awarded the Investors in People Silver Award (2022). We support Steamforged employees in their physical and mental wellbeing, both through private healthcare and the training and introduction of mental health first aiders; a programme introduced in light of the challenging times of recent years.

The core of Steamforged remains unchanged. Our mission has always been to create games for gamers and provide people with exceptional experiences. The changes made within the company allow us to further deliver on this mission.”

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