Kongregate, the online flash game portal and game publisher, has been hit with layoffs amid a restructure that will bring major changes to the site. This news, announced via the Kongregate forums and picked up on by Gamesindustry.biz, indicates that the site will no longer take new game submissions going forward, and that the site’s forums will close.
“We will be rolling out several changes to the website over the coming days and months, the first of which is that we will no longer be accepting new titles on Kongregate.com as of today,” the forum post reads. “We also will not be adding any more badges to games. You will still be able to play our existing library of over 128,000 amazing games and developers will be able to update their games as normal.”
The site will also be disabling social features over time, including closing all but 20 chat rooms and moving forums to a read-only state.
“Please be aware that as part of our focus on developing games, we will have fewer resources to support Kongregate.com,” the statement continues. “That said, our support team will do their best to help players experiencing in-game issues.”
Several Kongregate employees have been let go without notice, gamesindustry.biz notes.
In a statement given to Forbes, a representative from the company has acknowledged that some members of the team have been let go, and that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted Kongregate.
“Over the last few years, we have been transitioning our focus to better align with our strengths and the gaming industry as a whole,” the statement reads. This year has been especially difficult for us, and the rest of the world, with COVID-19 affecting our business in a negative way and changing the overall games market. That’s why we had to take this unfortunate step to reshape our organization.”
The company will focus on developing games and reaching out to acquire others, rather than providing an open submission flash gaming platform. “As we outlined on our website, all of the current games on Kongregate.com will remain playable, we are just not allowing any new games to be uploaded at this time,” the statement reads.
Kongregate, which first launched in 2006, has historically been an important portal for games designed in Flash. As Flash fades away, though, the site has had to change. Competing site Newgrounds has developed its own proprietary Flash player for when Adobe Flash’s support ends; it’s not yet clear how far Kongregate will go in support its legacy catalog of games.