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Amazon’s Twitch laying off hundreds of workers despite strong business

Two people are entering a building with a "Twitch" logo on the door.
Game-streaming firm Twitch announced plans Wednesday to lay off more than 500 employees. | Source: Jungho Kim for The Standard

Twitch—the gamer-friendly interactive livestreaming platform owned by Amazon and headquartered in San Francisco—announced over 500 layoffs Wednesday, following at least two other rounds last year.

The job losses amount to around 35% of the tech firm's workforce worldwide. Twitch has an office at 350 Bush St. in Downtown San Francisco, close to Union Square.

The company will permanently lay off 218 employees at its Bush Street address in San Francisco, a WARN notice letter sent to the California Department of Employment Development said Wednesday. Those separations were to be effective April 1, not counting affected employees who accept internal transfer opportunities.

In a blog post, Twitch CEO Dan Clancy wrote, "We’ve made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our workforce today."

"At this point in time, we are focused on communicating with our employees and providing them with clarity on how this impacts each of them," Clancy said. "We greatly value the employees we’re saying goodbye to today as people and professionals and are grateful for all their efforts to support all of you."

A neon sign with mirror-image text against a window, reflecting street life with moving cars and a pedestrian.
Twitch announced over 500 layoffs on Wednesday, and the job losses amount to roughly 35% of the tech firm's workforce worldwide. | Source: Jungho Kim for The Standard

While the post acknowledged that the company paid out over $1 billion to streamers and added that its business "remains strong," he added that "for some time now the organization has been sized based upon where we optimistically expect our business to be in 3 or more years, not where we’re at today. As with many other companies in the tech space, we are now sizing our organization based upon the current scale of our business and conservative predictions of how we expect to grow in the future."

Prior cuts at Twitch last March and October affected multiple company divisions, with the firm planning to outsource some roles to third-party vendors. In December, the company announced it would shut down its operations in South Korea at the end of February, citing "prohibitively expensive" conditions despite cost-reduction efforts.

A spokesperson at Twitch declined comment Wednesday morning, directing The Standard back to Clancy's blog post.

George Kelly can be reached at