The gaming and tech industries have recently been rocked by a wave of layoffs, and Amazon-owned Twitch is the latest firm in the sector to announce job cuts.
Hundreds of former Twitch employees are currently looking for new jobs, despite the fact that the controversy surrounding popular Twitch streamers has always been a key lure for the website. Since its inception as the streaming website Justin.tv in 2007, Twitch has undergone a dramatic shift. Originally a “lifecasting” website where users could broadcast their daily activities, Justin.tv’s creators decided to separate Twitch into its own website in 2011 due to the rising popularity of gaming streams.
Since then, the service has continued to expand. Twitch, which many people believe to be the best livestreaming platform, has been under fire recently for matters ranging from income splits with creators to its frequently ineffective attempts to address harassment on the website. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear’s resignation earlier this month after more than 16 years with the firm only made matters worse for the website.
In an effort to minimize the size of the firm’s employees, the corporation has let go of “just over 400 people,” according to a post by new CEO Dan Clancy on the official Twitch blog.
According to Clancy’s article, the decision to fire the staff was difficult and was only reached after “considerable thought.” In an effort to defend the surprise layoffs, the post claims that both user and revenue growth had fallen short of Twitch’s projections and that the employment reduction was required to secure the company’s long-term survival. In his final paragraph, Clancy promises that Twitch will keep putting its attention on “inspiring, growing and sustaining our streamers globally.” Although some Twitch viewers might be relieved that the company’s layoffs might guarantee that their favorite streamers will continue to be active for years to come, that’s probably a paltry consolation for the former Twitch employees who are currently honing their resumes. This announcement is sure to frighten employees in the sector who are already concerned about their job security, even though it is not as significant as the layoffs at several other organizations in and around the gaming industry in recent months.
Even several smaller businesses in the industry have recently announced job reductions; earlier this month, Worms creator Team17 announced a round of layoffs.
Even while it’s unlikely that these recent layoffs will affect viewers’ experiences on Twitch, such a significant shake-up at a business that already faces several threats and issues doesn’t necessarily portend well for the streaming site’s long-term viability. The service might face even more difficulties in the future as other rivals, like the livestreaming website Kick, are already vying with Twitch for viewers and talent.