Big Fish Closes Vancouver Office, Lays Off 49 Employees

by William D'Angelo, posted on 22 August 2013 / 2,733 Views

Big Fish CEO and Founder Paul Thelen released a letter to employees which was acquired by GamesIndustry International. 49 employees have been laid off in the Seattle office and an additional 70 were realigned. The layoffs represent about nine percent of the total workforce. Big Fish had also closed down its Vancouver studio, consolidating its offices into the Seattle location.

"However, along with good news there is sometimes a "but," and here is ours - to continue this momentum, we need to realign our resources by increasing investment in the areas that are growing or profitable and eliminating investment in areas that are not on a path to success," said Thelen in the letter.

"We had to make some very hard choices about these business areas that are not growing or profitable," continued Thelen. "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"

"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."

"First, we are realigning more than seventy employees to focus on those areas of the business that are growing and scaling; however 49 full-time employees in Seattle are being let go," Thelen added.

"Second, Seattle is our HQ and will remain the hub for premium and free-to-play casual game production. As a result, we will be consolidating our Vancouver game development projects to Seattle and shutting down that office. Oakland will remain the hub for free-to-play casino game production."

Thelen also announced that John Holland has been promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer of Big Fish Games. This promotion is due to Dave Stephenson leaving Big Fish. Also the four business line general managers will now report directly to Thelen instead of Dave.


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