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PHIL ROGERS ON THE HUMAN COST OF RESTRUCTURING

Phil Rogers, interim Chief Strategy Officer for Embracer Group, has been interviewed by Games Industry on the human cost of restructuring following the first ever quarter-over-quarter reduction in headcount of around 900 people, or 5 % of the workforce.

"First and foremost, we look at entertainment values," Phil Rogers tells Games Industry. "It has to be fun to play. I'm never a big fan of the 'fewer bigger, better' [approach]. Bigger games aren't always fun. I know how hard it is to make smaller games and to bring those entertainment values to bear from experience at Crystal when we started working on digital spin-outs of Lara Croft."

"For Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, that was a AAA team trying to make a game with much, much smaller budgets. So many teams are producing games today for much, much smaller budgets."

Discussing how Embracer Group decides on the outcome of future projects, Phil Rogers said: "Then we do look at how we would assess the commercial outcomes, how we squint and would see those returns. There's the potential for genres as well, where we've got overlap in potential genres or whatnot. That would help us make some decisions."

"It also helps us explain decisions with teams. One of the softer but very clear advantages of going through this process I found is it really has got teams to work together to share, to discuss, and that's helped us then with those decisions when we've had to deliver them."

Embracer Group owns 135 internal game development studios including Gearbox Software and Crystal Dynamics plus an extensive catalogue of over 850 owned or controlled franchises including Borderlands and Tomb Raider.

In June of this year, Embracer Group announced a comprehensive restructuring program with immediate implementation. As part of the restructuring program, Phil Rogers was appointed interim Chief Strategy Officer and Matthew Karch was appointed interim Chief Operating Officer. The restructuring program was announced following the collapse of a two-billion dollar deal with an unnamed suitor.

Embracer Group