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Marvel’s Midnight Suns Dev Lays Off Staff In Wake Of “Weak Sales”

Another studio has been impacted by industry-wide layoffs as Marvel's Midnight Suns dev, Firaxis Games, has reportedly released 30 developers.
Marvel’s Midnight Suns Dev Lays Off Staff In Wake Of “Weak Sales”

Firaxis Games, the studio behind releases including Sid Meier's Civilization, X-COM, and Marvel's Midnight Suns, has been impacted by layoffs as 30 developers have been reported to be let go, according to Axios. The decision comes after its parent company, Take-Two Interactive, detailed "weak sales" and "poor timing" of the release of Marvel's Midnight Suns despite positive reviews, including from us at GINX.

Take-Two had decided in February 2023 that they'll launch a $50 million "cost reduction program," which has cited layoffs to be involved. The news of this recent layoff comes as X-COM and Midnight Suns creative director Jake Solomon and studio head Steve Martin announced their departure that same month.

Assuming Martin's role at Firaxis is Heather Hazen, previously the studio's COO with over 22 years of industry experience. Firaxis' recent woes may have hampered the promotion of the final DLC for Midnight Suns, Blood Storm, featuring the X-Men member Ororo Munroe / Storm, which has been plagued by a bug preventing players from earning Achievements/Trophies.

On top of that, Firaxis canceled a previously planned port for the Nintendo Switch as they went ahead with the game's last-gen versions. While Solomon has revealed the choice to leave the studio after the release of Midnight Suns, he has given some thought on what to do next in his 20-year career during an interview on Simon Parkin's My Perfect Console podcast.

OK, I'm going to make another turn-based strategy game, and am I excited about that? And I found that I wasn't that excited about doing another turn-based strategy game just because—not because the genre isn't amazing, that's where I've spent my life—but I felt like I didn't have anything more to say in that area.

While Solomon is steering clear from the turn-based strategy genre, he is looking to launch his studio in the city of Baltimore. As for Firaxis, they're looking to refocus the company as they'll be working on the next entry in the Civilization series despite the recent layoffs.

marvels midnight suns developer firaxis games layoffs report storm dlc blood storm
Despite Marvel's Midnight Suns being a critical success, Take-Two Interactive reported that the tactical RPG was a commercial flop. (Picture: Firaxis Games / 2K)

Firaxis created a marvel with Midnight Suns, offering something new and exciting for Marvel Games following their recent successes with Insomniac's Marvel's Spider-Man games and Second Dinner's Marvel Snap. Bringing their years of experience in the turn-based strategy genre with the decades of lore into one of Marvel Comics' most synonymous ensembles, the game became a massive success but didn't reflect in the game's performance.

As a Marvel fan, this was as close to one of the best Marvel games in recent years, despite suffering the same fate as Guardians of the Galaxy, while the same can't be said for Marvel's Avengers, which will be sunsetted in September 2023. Firaxis may continue providing quality-of-life improvements with the final DLC released; the game ended with a thunderous high and completed its story in an electrifying fashion.