Unity buys another company as employees anger over mass layoffs

Game engine maker Unity said it plans to acquire Ironsource, an advertising technology firm. in a press release this morning. The news came just two weeks after a wave of layoffs rocked the companywhere the remaining employees are not enthusiastic about this strategy.

Unity will merge with Ironsources, which they describe as – and get ready for word salad from the press release – “a leading business platform that enables mobile content creators to turn their apps into scalable, successful businesses” in an all-stock deal. Upon completion, Ironsource will become part of Unity’s operations and its CEO will have a seat on the Unity Board of Directors.

Perhaps best known for creating the widely used game engine — the set of creation tools used to create video games — of the same name, Unity has been making a lot of acquisitions over the past few years. Last year, Unity bought Weta Digitala visual effects company that has worked on films such as Avatar as well as Lord of the Rings, for $1.6 billion. it’s the same bought the gaming platform Parsec north of $300 million.

This spending strategy hasn’t provided a ton of job protection for existing staff. Last month, Unity fired 4% its workforce of hundreds of employees in different departments. According to Slack’s internal logs, reviewed by Slack log, after layoffs, employees asked questions and expressed frustration about the company’s priorities. Kotaku.

“My problem is not with these companies or with the employees of these companies – you are great!” one employee wrote on a Slack channel following the news of the layoffs last month. “My problem is that I have the audacity to pretend that we [are a] a company with values ​​like “together together” where the staff can be thrown the fuck out.”

It is unclear what safeguards, if any, are in place to prevent a similar fate for Ironsource employees. Unity and Ironsource representatives did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.

If you’re familiar with Unity’s business strategy and would like to chat, both on and off the record, my inbox is always open: anotis@congenplus.in (Signal and proton on request).

Ironsource represents a change in Unity’s strategy, showcasing a company that prioritizes profit over product. Previous acquisitions typically had something to do with video games, whether it’s the VFX experience of Weta or the multiplayer network code of something like MLAPI that Unity acquired in 2020. Ironsource deals exclusively with monetization.

“The general mood in the company is that the whole company is being horribly mismanaged at the moment,” said another former employee. Kotakuspeaking on condition of anonymity. (From the words of the employees I spoke to, this seems like common sense. One even told me that their department doesn’t have any deadlines.)

After last month’s layoffs, executives declined to answer questions such as “Have executives ever discussed their exorbitant pay scale and potential layoffs to save the workforce?” a former employee said. “I’m guessing yes, they did, but they rejected it as they needed a new beach house in Malibu.”

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