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Age of Empires IV developer Relic announces new layoffs after becoming an independent studio [Update]

Age of Empires IV The Sultans Ascend

One week ago, Sega announced some major layoffs and also revealed it had sold one of its game studios, Relic Entertainment. Today, the Vancover-based studio announced some layoffs of its own, totaling 41 of its team members.

The news was first broken today in a LinkedIn post by Relic external development producer Robyn Smale and was later confirmed by the company in another LinkedIn message (via VentureBeat). Relic's message stated in part:

Letting people go was not an easy decision, and was made solely with the goal of providing Relic the best possible chance to survive in an increasingly volatile industry. It does not in any way reflect the expertise, passion, or character of any of the impacted employees.

The affected employees will be getting severance packages along with extended benefits. In May 2023, while still owned by Sega, Relic suffered from an even bigger layoff that affected 122 team members.

One of Relic's last two major projects was Age of Empires IV, the latest RTS game in Microsoft's long-running series that launched in October 2021 for the PC, and later for the Xbox in 2022. Relic and Microsoft released a major expansion pack for the game, The Sultans Ascend, in late 2023.

The other major recent game the studio launched was Company of Heroes 3, a WWII RTS game created by Relic. That game was released for the PC in February 2023 and later for the Xbox Series S and X and PlayStation 5 in May 2023.

In its message last week about becoming an independent studio once again, Relic stated that it had received funding from an external investor. There's no word on who that investor might be at the moment.

Relic says it will continue to support its current games and plans to release a free patch for Company of Heroes 3 later this month. At the moment, there's no word on what the studio has planned for its next major game release.

Update - April 5 - Emona Capital has been revealed as the investor in Relic.

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