If I owned a game company I would only temporarily hire people to make the game engine for a new IP
Once the game engine is complete you can keep it for the sequel and the sequel can be worked on more easily with less people.
Just my angle of thought on this Superbot laying off 1/3 of their staff issue, I thought I'd come at it directly rather than making 3 topics about it. --- "A woman must not wear mens clothing, nor a man wear womens clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this" Deuteronomy 22:5
In a game like this, the bulk of the work isn't really the engine (it's a fairly simple platforming engine without any crazy physics) - the majority of the work is in the minutia of each character.
So if Superbot's plan is to add 8 characters and keep everything else identical in the sequel, then it's possible they decided to terminate a third of their staff.
Although if that's their grand plan, they'd be better off just making a different game altogether. Maybe a CTF mode for the next GoW. --- If I haven't mentioned Trivio in my post, it's because she is so beautiful and precarious that I just wanted to show her how much she means to me.