Homeworld 3 studio Blackbird Interactive is laying off a number of its staff

A screenshot from Homeworld 3 showing ships flying in space.
(Image credit: Gearbox Publishing)

Update: This article has been updated with a statement shared with TechRadar Gaming by a Blackbird Interactive spokesperson.

Canadian game development studio Blackbird Interactive is laying off a number of its staff, employees have revealed.

The studio, which employed around 220 members of staff as of December 2023 according to its studio overview fact sheet, is currently working on the upcoming real-time strategy game Homeworld 3, as well as the roguelike sci-fi deckbuilder, Earthless. It previously developed Hardspace: Shipbreaker and co-developed Minecraft Legends alongside Mojang Studios. 

As Game Developer reports, the news was first shared by a number of impacted employees on LinkedIn. One of these was Jacob Van Rooyen, who served as lead producer for a new IP project at the studio. 

“This morning, Blackbird Interactive announced layoffs across the company and, unfortunately, I was one of those impacted,” he wrote yesterday (February 14). “Despite the situation, I appreciate all the experiences and wonderful people I've met and known at BBI. I've been amazed and humbled by everyone’s support today, and I wish everyone impacted the best in landing on their feet.”

Others affected include associate programmer Dylan Freddi, as well as lead and senior game designer Victoria Wojcik. Wojcik wrote: “2024 comes full of surprises! I am looking for work. Unfortunately I have been affected by recent layoffs.”

At the time of writing, it’s not clear how many people have been affected by these layoffs. TechRadar Gaming reached out to Blackbird Interactive for comment, and received a statement confirming that the layoffs come as "part of a realignment plan" deemed "necessary because of new projects that were shelved by some of our partners."

"Due to economic pressures outside of our control, we had to take the unfortunate step of separating from some friends," a Blackbird Interactive spokesperson said. "This is part of a realignment plan that’s necessary because of new projects that were shelved by some of our partners. We looked at multiple ways of avoiding this and regretfully other options weren’t viable.

"Because the affected team members are our BBI family, we want to help position them well for this next stage of their careers. We’re offering a suite of extended benefits and severance to help ease this transition."

This latest news follows last week’s announcement that Homeworld 3’s release is being delayed by a couple of months, from March 8 to May 13 (advanced access will start on May 10). In a statement released at the time, the developer revealed that the decision to delay the game came from “careful analysis of feedback” from players. 

“To say that you as a community of players have been waiting patiently for this next instalment would be an understatement, and we are deeply appreciative of that,” the studio wrote at the time. “We will continue to keep you updated on our progress.”

Looking for some new games to dive into? Be sure to check out our roundup of the best PC games, as well as the best PC strategy games

Catherine Lewis
News Writer, TechRadar Gaming

Catherine is a News Writer for TechRadar Gaming. Armed with a journalism degree from The University of Sheffield, she was sucked into the games media industry after spending far too much time on her university newspaper writing about Pokémon and cool indie games, and realising that was a very cool job, actually. She previously spent 19 months working at GAMINGbible as a full-time journalist. She loves all things Nintendo, and will never stop talking about Xenoblade Chronicles.