2023 Animation Industry Layoff Tracker

2023 has been an ugly year for the animation industry. As labor unions across Hollywood rebel and media conglomerates endure the consequences of streaming growth at any cost, the animation industry (and its sister VFX and game industries) are caught in the middle. Jobs are drying up and many studios are cutting jobs.

Our new Layoff Tracker is an attempt to track significant layoffs happening throughout our industry. Only layoffs we have been able to identify are included and we will endeavor to keep this updated as a resource for the community. If you have information on layoffs, please contact us.

If you are currently unemployed and looking for work, we encourage you to follow this spreadsheet, which is constantly updated with animation job postings.

November 14 - Amazon Games: Amazon has laid off about 180 employees in its games division as part of a major restructuring to reduce promotion and support for third-party games and increase resources dedicated to its own titles.

November 1 - Netflix: Netflix Animation laid off at least a third of its feature film division. The layoffs involved "overhead" staff, including executives, business representatives, and production management. Artists were not included in these layoffs.

October 30 - Bungie: Sony-owned "Destiny" game developer Bungie has laid off 8% of its staff, or about 100 people. According to reports, the layoffs are part of a massive cost-cutting program at Sony's PlayStation division.

October 8 - DreamWorks Animation: Glendale-based DreamWorks Animation laid off about 70 employees, or 4% of its more than 1,700 employees. Affected departments include the corporate, feature, television, and technical divisions as part of an overall cost-cutting effort.

September 23 - Epic: Epic, developer of the Unreal Engine, laid off about 16% of its workforce. According to founder and CEO Tim Sweeney, the company is spending money faster than it is making it.

August 31 - Deep Silver Volition: Swedish video game holding company Embracer Group closed "Saints Row" developer Volition as part of a major restructuring at the company. At the time of the closure, approximately 240 employees worked at Volition.

August 23 - BioWare: BioWare, a game developer under Electronic Arts, is laying off 50 employees at its studios in Edmonton, Canada and Austin, Texas. The studio is nearing completion of Dragon Age: Dreadworld and Mass Effect is in development. Despite the layoffs, both projects will continue.

August 15 - Industrial Light & Magic: Disney-owned Industrial Light & Magic plans to close its animation and VFX production facility in Singapore. The studio closure will affect approximately 300 employees; the Singapore studio, opened in 2006, was ILM's first overseas location. Disney said the closure is due to "economic factors affecting the industry."

July 26 - CD Projekt Red, developer of CD Project Red: The Witcher and Cyberpunk 2077 games, laid off about 100 employees, or 9% of its workforce.

July 20 - DNEG: The studio responsible for the VFX work on "Oppenheimer" (much of it uncredited) and the animation for the Emmy-nominated "Enter Galactic" laid off dozens of people at its London headquarters.

June 13 - Embracer: The Swedish video game and entertainment conglomerate announced a major restructuring of its operations, including layoffs and studio closures; how many of its 16,600 employees and 138 game development studios will be affected was not disclosed, but the company was aiming to cut costs by at least 10% each year.

June 6 - Pixar: Pixar, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, laid off 75 people (6% of its workforce) at its Emeryville, California studio. This is the largest layoff at Pixar since 2013. The layoffs include "Lightyear" director Angus MacLean and producer Garin Sussman.

May 25 - Kabam: Marvel Contest of Champions game developer laid off 12% of its workforce. The company said in a release that "this restructuring will streamline the existing development team while providing greater financial flexibility to invest in new areas of growth." Online sources estimate the number of layoffs to be about 90.

May 9 Paramount: the company revealed that it will cut 25% of its workforce at its Showtime, MTV Entertainment Studios, and Paramount Media Networks groups due to "broader economic headwinds." Affected are positions made redundant in the consolidation of struggling cable channels such as MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central into one portfolio group.

May 5 - DreamWorks Animation: one of L.A.'s largest animation producers, DreamWorks, has laid off 33 employees, or about 2% of its workforce, after parent company NBC Universal cut jobs in several departments. According to a DreamWorks statement, the layoffs were part of a larger cost-cutting plan, and most of the affected employees were in support roles.

May 3 - Unity: Unity, a developer of real-time games and animation engines, has announced that it is cutting 600 positions, or roughly 8% of its workforce. This was the company's third (and largest) layoff in the past year.

January 5 - Vimeo: The New York-based video tools company has cut 11% of its workforce (estimated at about 125 people) as it continues to struggle since its pivot from video streaming site to technology platform.