Machinima just raised a $24 million funding round led by Warner Bros, but it is going through some cutbacks nonetheless. The online video company that runs a prominent multi-channel network has laid off 13 employees, and it has decided to close down its Machinima Respawn channel.
According to Variety, which first reported this news, the layoffs affect Machinima’s production team. Respawn, which featured many “Let’s Play” style videos, was hit the hardest, as it will cease production entirely. Respawn, which crossed the rare billion-view milestone in 2013, attracted a community of passionate gamers, but Machinima cited its declining popularity as a major reason for its demise. Previously, it had been hit by the company’s 2013 layoffs.
This is the fourth year in a row Machinima has been affected by significant job cuts, but this is the first round of layoffs under new CEO Chad Gutstein, who joined the company in March 2014. Under Gutstein, Machinima has rebranded itself with a new tagline and a shifted focus, which perhaps influenced the decision to lay off some content producers.
Machinima has offered the following statement:
“As Machinima positions itself for the future, we must focus resources toward high-growth opportunities. Toward that end, today Machinima released 13 production staff associated with Respawn, TFTW and certain shows on Machinima LIVE as this content was simply not delivering the monetization that supports our path to profitability. Machinima is in development on its expanded 2015-16 original programming slate, details of which will be unveiled at its Newfront presentation on May 4. Separately, the company also has 15 open positions associated with programming, talent development, business intelligence, sales, marketing, product development and engineering.”
Machinima, which is based in Los Angeles, is now down to 77 employees after once having more than 200 of them.