Let me preface this with:
- I have not worked at Relic for some years
- I have no inside knowledge of what's happening on CoH2 or Relic
However I just wanted to throw in a few details that might add light to this situation.
1) SEGA is a publically traded company and as such would need to release any layoffs of significant size to the press. For example back back during the THQ days
. This is largely to protect shareholders.
This announcement generally comes as close as possible to the staff being informed, so that the company can control the messaging and doesn't have a bunch of now unemployed devs on Twitter freaking out the shareholders or so people don't learn from the press that their jobs are gone.
So the idea that there's someone at Relic who would know that there is going to be layoffs, who is telling people outside the studio is hard to believe. Only a few people in the studio at the senior management and HR levels would have much warning that layoffs were coming.
I don't know what the exact size of the layoffs need to be to trigger that, but certainly the entire COH2 team would be enough.
2) The "everyone at Relic is laid off" thing has been going on since at least the launch of CoH2. I remember a lot of people on a particular forum spending a lot of time creating "insider" evidence that proved that I and all of Relic had lost or were about to lose our jobs. I suppose a stopped clock does have to be right at least twice a day, but this is not a new thing.
3) This is just an observation, and feel free to disregard it but as an outside observer who isn't keyed into the current in-jokes of the community the whole "Asian developer might be fired let's make a bunch of rice field jokes" thing comes off as super racist.
I'm sure there's a Oscar Wilde level of wit involved that goes beyond "lol Asian name = rice farmer", but I'm just pointing that out as someone outside of the joke it does seem that way.
Again I have no insider knowledge, but there are ways that a studio has to operate when layoffs happen and Relic hasn't done that. This doesn't rule out layoffs later, in this industry unfortunately this happens. But when I left Relic the studio was stable and I haven't seen anything that would cause that to change.
P.S. If any of the admins could take off the "Developer" flare on my account that would be great. I know that ex-Relicans are considered staff but I wouldn't want anyone to think that my view is official or part of the studio's messaging.