More than half of all employees at Season: A Letter to the Future developer Scavengers Studio have been laid off as a result of the PS5, PS4 game not meeting "commercial expectations". A statement given to GamesIndustry.biz confirms the game — which released at the start of the year — has only sold 60,000 units, which "falls far short of what the studio needs to survive".
The comments from CEO Amélie Lamarche continue to say the company is now downsizing and will retain just 16 employees. "We understand that there is no easy way to handle layoffs, and our primary concern is to ensure that those affected receive as much support as possible during this challenging transition. In addition to financial and psychological support, we will provide extended health coverage benefits and outplacement services to assist in finding new job opportunities within Montreal."
Scavengers Studio will still remain in operation, with a "new endeavour that aims to create gameplay-driven games that bring people together" set to be announced. The company will attempt to "build a game that embodies the same spirit of innovation, humour, and exhilarating fun that the Darwin Project offered". Lamarche concludes: "Please remember that our decision to downsize is not a reflection of the talent, dedication, or contributions of each and every one of you."
Set up in 2015, Scavengers Studio made Darwin Project and Season on Sony systems, the latter of which was revealed at The Game Awards 2020. We had a lot of love for the stylish project when it launched in January, handing it an 8/10 in our Season PS5 review. "While the voice acting is a little below par, the writing is superb, crafting meaningful, emotional moments seemingly at will, while walking a delicate tonal line between sadness and catharsis. What you're left with is a fascinating, emotionally powerful experience not soon to leave you."