Employment Law

Epic Games slashing 16% of staff, selling divisions

Someone uses a controller to play a video game. Epic Games employees are entitled to severance pay when they lose their job.

Epic Games, the renowned creator of the immensely popular video game Fortnite, has recently announced a significant restructuring, involving the layoff of approximately 870 employees, which amounts to roughly one-sixth of its workforce.

‘Spending more than we earn’

The decision to cut jobs was communicated to the company’s staff through a memo penned by Epic Games’ founder, Tim Sweeney. In the memo, Sweeney acknowledged the financial challenges the company had been facing.

“For a while now, we’ve been spending way more money than we earn, investing in the next evolution of Epic and growing Fortnite as a metaverse-inspired ecosystem for creators,” said Sweeney.

“I had long been optimistic that we could power through this transition without layoffs, but in retrospect, I see that this was unrealistic.”

Selling Bandcamp and SuperAwesome

While Epic Games is known for creating various video games and is the owner of the popular game engine Unreal, its flagship product, Fortnite, has garnered an astounding 400 million players from around the globe.

In addition to the workforce reduction, Epic Games has made the strategic decision to sell two of its business divisions, namely Bandcamp and SuperAwesome. This divestment will result in an additional 250 individuals departing from the company, although they will retain their current positions, according to Epic.

Impact in Canada

It remains unclear exactly how many Canadian employees at Epic Games will lose their job as a result of this layoff.

Epic’s offer: is it enough?

In his staff memo, Sweeney says Epic Games is offering affected employees a severance package that “includes six months base pay and in the U.S./Canada/Brazil six months of Epic-paid healthcare.”

Sweeney said the company has accelerated the vesting timeline for stock options to support its departing workers.

Employees working for Epic in Canada should continue reading this blog to find out what their full severance pay rights are, and if they are owed additional compensation from the video game giant – before accepting the company’s offer.

• Firm launches $130M class action against Shopify for breach of contract
Relic Entertainment cutting 121 employees
Where are layoffs happening in Canada?

Termination agreements for staff at Epic Games

In Canada, non-unionized employees at Epic Games are owed full severance pay when they lose their jobs due to downsizing, corporate restructuring, or the closure of the business.

This includes individuals working full-time, part-time, or hourly in Ontario, Alberta, and B.C.

People working “on contract” or as a contractor may also be owed severance pay — given that many employees in Canada are often misclassified as independent contractors.

Severance can be as much as 24 months’ pay, depending on a number of factors.

Rights to severance for provincially regulated employees
Severance entitlements during mass layoffs
Severance packages in a recession

WATCH: Employment lawyer Lior Samfiru explains what rights employees have if they are being fired or let go on an episode of the Employment Law Show.

Before you accept any severance offer, have an experienced employment lawyer at Samfiru Tumarkin LLP review it and your employment contract.

We can tell you if what you have been provided is fair and how to get proper severance if it falls short of what you are actually owed.

If you don’t receive the full amount, which happens often, you have been wrongfully dismissed and are entitled to compensation.

In some cases, employers pressure staff into accepting poor severance packages, such as imposing a deadline for accepting the offer.

Non-unionized employees in Canada have up to two years from the date of their dismissal to pursue a claim for full severance pay.

Fired? Lost Your Job?

Contact Canada's most positively reviewed employment law firm today to get the advice you need and the compensation you deserve.

Get Help Now

Advice You Need. Compensation You Deserve.

Consult with Samfiru Tumarkin LLP. We are one of Canada's most experienced and trusted employment, labour and disability law firms. Take advantage of our years of experience and success in the courtroom and at the negotiating table.

Get help now