Bigpoint has told GamesIndustry International that it has laid off 120 employees and its CEO Heiko Hubertz has left his role. 80 employees were laid off in its Hamburg studio and 40 more were laid off in its San Francisco studio. The company will also no longer develop games in the US.
"We have seen that developing games in the US is not really the most efficient way for us at the moment," said Hubertz. "The games that we have developed in the last two years haven't been that successful, and the San Francisco area and Bay Area is quite a competitive market. San Francisco is, after New York, one of the most expensive cities you can live in in the US, so the people are quite expensive."
The San Francisco studio opened in 2010 and was run by Hubertz. The studio was suppose to work on business development, marketing and PR for the company. The employees laid off in Hamburg is mainly made up of administrative staff.
"We need space for other investments in other areas. We've doubled our revenues almost every year, and we had a budget for this year of what we wanted in terms of revenue. Unfortunately we haven't had the strong growth we hoped, but we had hired for this growth."
Hubertz promised that none of the games in development will be affected by the lay offs. He will also be moving from CEO to the executive chairman of the supervisory board at the end of the year.
"For me it's very important, and there are private reasons," he said. "I wanted to leave the company after ten years of very strong growth, very exciting times, launching many products in many countries - it was really tough times and I'm a little bit exhausted. I want to relax a little bit, travel the world and think about starting a family."
Bigpoint laid off 29 of its employees back in July, with the majority of them working on mobile projects.