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Unity to lay off another 265 staff, drop Weta in 'company reset'

Unity has announced yet another round of layoffs, this time centered around the staff it brought in when it acquired elements of Weta, the VFX studio behind The Lord of the Rings.

Reuters reported that the company will dismiss 265 employees – 3.8% of its workforce – as part of the termination of its agreement with Weta, which is owned by movie director Peter Jackson.

The engine provider acquired the teams that handled Weta Digital’s tools, pipeline, technology and engineering in 2021 via a deal worth $1.63 billion.

Unity also said it will shut down offices in 14 locations around the world, including Berlin and Singapore, as well as significantly reducing the footprint of the remaining branches, including Bellevue, Washington and its San Francisco headquarters. Closures will be confirmed after employee consultation in some countries.

This reduction will include removing the mandate that employees work from offices three days per week.

Unity referred to these announcements as part of a “reset” for the company, with interim CEO Jim Whitehurst telling Reuters: “While no additions have been finalised, it’s clear that we will reduce the number of things we are doing overall.”

Whitehurst took over following the departure of long-serving CEO John Riccitiello, who left in the wake of the runtime fee debacle.

This is the third round of mass layoffs at Unity this year, with the company announcing it would let go of nearly 300 employees in January and 600 more in May.

This brings the total layoffs from Unity in 2023 to over 1,100. The company previously warned there would be more redundancies in its latest financial results earlier this month.

Unity said its current headcount stands at around 7,000.

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