Scribblenauts studio, 5th Cell, is laying off staff

5th Cell are having to lay off staff due a cancellation from publisher Warner Bros.

Yesterday it was announced that 5th Cell, the studio which brought you Scribblenauts, is having to lay off staff due to Warner Bros cancelling the upcoming Scribblenauts: Fighting Words.

In an exclusive statement to Polygon, 5th Cell CEO Jeremiah Slaczka commented:

"Unfortunately, due to a project cancellation, we have had to let go of 45 of our very talented staff members today.

Layoffs aren't something we take lightly and we'd like to thank all our employees for all the hard work and dedication over the years.

5TH Cell as a company is not closing down, but our focus right now is 100% on helping our staff make the transition to other external opportunities. If we haven't already reached out, any interested employer can reach us at [email protected]."

A tweet from lead animator Tim Borrelli, earlier on in the day, initially indicated that 5th Cell was closing altogether.

Borrelli later tweeted about being in the first round of layoffs and the studio being shut down while he picked up his things.

Washington-based 5th Cell originally began developing games in 2003 with mobile games such as Siege and Mini Poccha. By 2007, they had moved on to developing titles for the Nintendo DS and released the widely popular Drawn to Life. The beginning of the Scribblenauts series released in 2009 and has since spawned 3 additional titles - Super Scribblenauts, Scribblenauts Unlimited and Scribblenauts Unmasked. In 2012, 5th Cell released a third-person shooter called Hybrid for the Xbox 360.

We hope that all the talented members of staff find work again quickly.


It all started with an Atari ST and here I am, all these years later, still loving video games! Indie games are where my heart is and where it'll stay. The world of indie video games is ever evolving and such an interesting arena to be a part of!

Published Jun. 11th 2020

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