Seattle-based casual games provider Big Fish has gone through a round of layoffs, is closing its Vancover studio and has entered a 30-day consultation period about its operations in Cork, Ireland. GameIndustry International
obtained a letter by CEO Paul Thelen to staff that outlined the changes, which detail 49 layoffs in its Seattle headquarters, with another 70 employees "realigned." Big Fish previously had 524 full-time Seattle employees, so the cut represents approximately nine percent of the studio.
"I want to stress that our decisions are not based on our company-wide performance or that of the people working on those initiatives – both of which are strong – but because of where the market is growing, and quite frankly, where it is not," wrote Thelen in the letter to staff. "The most significant decision we are making today is that we are discontinuing our premium cloud delivery business. This service is not growing as fast as we had hoped it would and is not on a path to profitability."
According to Thelen, this will be the company's eleventh straight year of "record revenue" and the company remains profitable. He says to continue this momentum the company must increase investment in profitable areas and cut its losses.
Thelen writes, "The most significant decision we are making today is that we are discontinuing our premium cloud delivery business. This service is not growing as fast as we had hoped it would and is not on a path to profitability. This decision reflects the reality that the costs to support streaming cloud delivery of premium games are too high, and the user adoption too low, for us to warrant continued investment."
The company will continue to invest in its casual and casino free-to-play businesses, and focus investment on its "four largest languages": English, French, German and Japanese.