Another One: Gameloft to Close Cluj-Napoca Studio, 136 Employees to Be Laid Off

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Photo: Gameloft

In a what seems to be another significant blow to Cluj-Napoca's IT sector, Gameloft has confirmed the closure of its local studio, resulting in the layoff of 136 employees. This marks the end of a nearly 14-year presence in Cluj, as the studio was established in August 2010.

At approximately 2:00 PM, Gameloft issued a statement confirming the closure following earlier reports suggesting over 200 employees would be affected. The official number of layoffs is 136.

Company Statement

“At the company level, we must constantly reevaluate our production capabilities. After careful analysis and responding to the constantly changing market conditions, it has become necessary to implement a workforce reduction. Unfortunately, this leads us to close our Cluj office and part ways with 136 employees. This decision was not easy, and we understand the impact it has on the affected employees. We will work with them on a case-by-case basis to find the best way to manage the situation.”

Signed: Alexandru Ticaloiu
PR & Communication Manager – Gameloft Romania

The news of the closure first emerged on 13 May 2024, when an internal meeting was held at the Gameloft Cluj-Napoca studio. Employees were informed that they would receive their layoff notices on 10 June, with their last working day being 10 July 2024. An anonymous employee highlighted the challenges many will face in finding new employment, noting that there had been substantial hiring in the past year.

“Many of us will struggle to find new jobs, especially since many employees have been with the company for less than a year. It's important for other companies to understand that we are not leaving voluntarily; the studio is closing.”

Broader Impact on Cluj's IT Sector

The closure of Gameloft's Cluj-Napoca studio is part of a broader trend of restructuring and layoffs in Cluj’s IT sector. This follows recent similar moves by other major companies like NTT Data Romania and Cognizant Softvision, which have initiated a series of layoffs due to economic pressures and the shift towards remote work. These layoffs have sparked concerns about job security and the future of Cluj's IT industry, which is celebrated for its vibrant tech ecosystem and skilled workforce.

In March 2024, an article highlighted the turbulent times faced by Cluj's IT sector, with companies adjusting to economic uncertainties and changing employment practices. The layoffs at NTT Data Romania and Cognizant Softvision, along with now Gameloft, reflect the challenging environment for both employers and employees amid the post-pandemic landscape.

Changes in Work Style and Rising Costs

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the style of working has undergone significant changes. Remote work has become more prevalent, leading companies to reconsider their office space needs and operational costs. This shift has been accompanied by an increase in the cost of running businesses in Cluj-Napoca. Rising real estate prices, higher wages to attract top talent, and increased operational expenses have added pressure on companies to streamline their operations and reduce costs. These factors have contributed to the wave of layoffs and restructuring efforts seen across the IT sector in Cluj.

Since its establishment in 2010, Gameloft Cluj-Napoca has been a key player in Romania's IT and gaming sector. The studio has contributed to major game titles such as “Asphalt 9: Legends” and “Iron Blade.” Over the years, it has employed a diverse team of developers, artists, designers, and other professionals, playing a significant role in the local economy and tech community.

The closure of the Cluj-Napoca studio seems to be a part of a broader restructuring by Gameloft, which has also resulted in layoffs in other parts of the world. Recently, the company has downsized operations in Ukraine and Canada, citing economic pressures and a need to adapt to market conditions. These global layoffs reflect the challenging environment facing the gaming industry, where companies are striving to balance costs with the demand for innovative and high-quality products

Gameloft's Legacy in Cluj-Napoca

The closure of the Cluj-Napoca studio is a poignant moment for the local IT industry, marking the end of an era for Gameloft's presence in the region. The coming months will be critical for Cluj's IT industry as it seeks to adapt to these changes while maintaining its reputation as a leading tech hub in Eastern Europe.

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Groundbreaking for the Cluj Regional Emergency Hospital marks a historic step in enhancing healthcare infrastructure, expected to be completed by 2027.
Construction has started on the Cluj Metropolitan Beltway to reduce traffic congestion and improve connectivity, expanding the road to six lanes.
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