H1Z1 developer Daybreak Games hit by layoffs

Daybreak Games, developers of Everquest and H1Z1, has laid off a significant number of employees.

The company said that the layoffs were made as part of "realigning our workforce to better position our company for the future."

On April 24, Daybreak's chief publishing officer and vice president Tweeted that she had left the company. Included among the departures is the company's former esports director Joseph De Anda.

Daybreak hosted the opening weekend of its H1Z1 League in Las Vegas on April 21, which featured Michelle Rodriguez and Kristine Leahy as stage hosts. Despite the celebrity pairing, however, the league only gathered 3,500 concurrent viewers on Twitch, according to the Esports Observer. The battle royale game has seen its playerbase has been on a downward trend, with March seeing only an average of 7,500 players.

The layoffs comes three weeks after the U.S. Treasury and the Department of State froze the assets of several Russian companies. That includes Renova Group, the parent company of Daybreak owners Colombus Nova. Colombus Nova was announced as having acquired the company in 2015. In recent days, however, Daybreak has denied being owned by Columbus Nova.

"We’re well aware of prior statements from Daybreak indicating our company was acquired by Columbus Nova." the company said in a statement on its forums. "We have since clarified that the company was acquired by Jason Epstein when he was a partner at Columbus Nova, which he left in 2017. We’ve also taken steps to clarify those facts on our website and on third-party internet sites to ensure that all of the information currently made available is consistent and accurate. We apologize for the previous miscommunication and hope that this clears up any confusion."

As it stands, Daybreak still seems set on developing and maintaining its current games, and promises to "continue the publishing and development wings of the company."

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