Lost Ark Developer Smilegate Closing Down Barcelona Studio, It’s Claimed

In a new post on LinkedIn, game director Stephane Blais said that the Smilegate Barcelona studio is closing down, and that “all employees are being laid off”.

Other employees at the studio also took to LinkedIn to back up the statement. Blais’ post also compared the current state of the industry as to “a game of Battleship”. But they did praise their colleagues as a “fantastic and really dedicated team”.

In their own post, Level Designer Myles Kerwin said that “today marked the last day of Smilegate Barcelona”. They did thank Smilegate though, “for being supportive and giving the Devs their PCs and monitors”.

Smilegate has not released an official statement about the Barcelona studio closure at this time.

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Fans will best recognize Smilegate for its work on the Crossfire series and Lost Ark. Smilegate also published games like Epic Seven, Final Assault, and mobile strategy title Outerplane.

Smilegate established the Barcelona studio just a few years ago. The development team was working on an open world AAA game for consoles. The devs didn’t get the opportunity to reveal many details about it.

It’s unclear what the future of this game will be, but Smilegate Barcelona likely completed a lot of work on it by now. Hopefully, Smilegate will reveal its plans for the game soon, as well as an explanation for the layoffs.

Besides Smilegate Barcelona closing down, many other layoffs continue to wear down the gaming industry. Yesterday, Xbox head Phil Spencer suggested that the layoffs at Activision Blizzard were due to “lack of growth” and the need for profit.

Earlier this month, the Apex Legends team at Respawn also faced layoffs. They affected 5% of its workforce, reportedly including employees who worked there for years.


For more of the latest Insider Gaming news, you can read about dev startup Popularium announcing plans to expand its team.