Australian Blockchain Company Immutable X Cuts Staff Amid Crypto Crunch

July 29, 2022, 9:16 AM AEST - 2 weeks ago

Melbourne-based Australian crypto gaming startup Immutable has this week laid off at least 20 staff, many of them core members of its NFT trading card game, Gods Unchained.

News of the redundancies hit social media when one of the game’s original developers, James Wakeham, tweeted he’d been tapped on the shoulder and was now looking for work:

The layoffs, which affect an estimated 6 percent of Immutable X’s total workforce, were jointly announced by recently appointed chief studio officer Justin Hulog and Immutable CEO and co-founder James Ferguson. Staff on leave were given just 24 hours’ notice to attend a meeting at which the pink slips were handed out.

Exponential Growth Gives Lie to Layoffs

Despite the layoffs, Immutable X appears to be growing exponentially. A spokesperson for the company said it had more than doubled its full-time headcount from 120 at the beginning of the year to 280, with plans to reach 360 by the end of the year.

Regarding this week’s layoffs, the spokesperson added that the company had “made a difficult choice” in conducting “a small reorganisation within Gods Unchained to help better enable us to achieve our goal of creating the next generation of Web3 games”.

That said, Gods Unchained’s player base has more than halved since early April from 22,000 unique players logged into the free-to-play game down to 10,000, as per data from Cards Unchained, a privately run site tracking the game. Immutable’s cryptocurrency token, IMX, which is used to trade assets in Gods Unchained, has also seen its value fall from about US$11 in November 2021 to just above $1.

However, according to a bullish internal memo circulated among Immutable staff this week, a reallocation of resources would see the company investing in roles to enable Gods Unchained to scale “to millions of players over the next year”.

Immutable X Still Aggressively Hiring

Post-redundancies, the only remaining workers on Gods Unchained are junior and C-suite staff. However, Immutable is looking to hire a creative director and UI (user interface) designer specifically for the project, as well as listing 22 other general vacancies for remote workers across Australia.

In February this year, Immutable X partnered with retail game giant GameStop to create its new NFT marketplace, as well as establishing a US$100 million fund to support innovation in the NFT space. And just over a month ago, the company launched a US$500 million developer and investment fund.

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