Enthusiast Gaming Lays Off Almost 10% of Staff


The video game publisher and media company Enthusiast Gaming laid off around 20 employees across Friday and Monday—nearly 10% of its 200-person workforce, according to two people familiar with the situation.

The cuts primarily affected sales and sales support staff, and they follow a previous round of reductions held by the publicly traded Canadian company in May.

The company confirmed the news.

The layoffs mark the latest in a grim series of cuts sweeping the media industry, as the advertising rebound enjoyed by technology platforms has failed to find its way to the digital media sector.

Media companies including Condé Nast, The Washington Post, Vox Media and G/O Media have all trimmed headcount in recent weeks. Following a challenging year for the industry, a lackluster fourth quarter has compelled many companies to look for savings through downsizing measures.

A challenged model with fresh faces

Enthusiast Gaming generates the vast majority of its revenue through advertising, but it has struggled in recent quarters to turn a profit, according to public filings.

The company, which went public in 2018, is composed of a portfolio of video game publishers, gaming sites, a creator network and experiential portfolio. It generates advertising revenue primarily through programmatic inventory across its portfolio of websites, its video network and YouTube channels.

In its most recent quarter, the company brought in $45.6 million in revenue—a decrease of 10% compared to the same period last year—and posted a loss of $59 million, according to public filings.

Nearly 90% of its revenue ($39.8 million) in the quarter came from advertising, with the remainder coming from its esports and entertainment division ($2 million) and subscription offering ($3.7 million). In 2022, it generated $202 million in total revenue but posted a net loss of $76 million.

The company has taken a number of steps to rein in expenses and increase revenue beyond the recent layoffs.

Under chief executive Nick Brien, who joined the company in March from the ad-tech firm Amobee, Enthusiast Gaming has placed a particular emphasis on achieving consistent profitability, according to two people familiar with the matter. 

It renewed a key partnership with the National Football League called Tuesday Night Gaming, part of a broader effort to grow its direct sales efforts. Despite securing the NFL contract, its direct revenue declined 3% year over year in the third quarter.

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