Bigpoint will no longer develop games in the US. The browser-based games studio told GamesIndustry International that 80 employees in its Hamburg office, along with more than 40 in its San Francisco office, will be laid off.
CEO Heiko Hubertz is also departing from his role and will be moving to the position of executive chairman of the company’s supervisory board by the end of the year. A replacement will be announced when he takes the new position.
In changing in positions, Hubertz said that he “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.”
Hubertz did express that he tried stepping down a year-and-a-half ago, but his replacement did not work out. The timing of his change in position is not related to the job cuts.
“We have seen that developing games in the US is not really the most efficient way for us at the moment,” he stated.
“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 the US, so the people are quite expensive.”
The Hamburg office layoffs will be mainly made up of administrative staff as a part of cutting spending. Hubertz promised that none of the company’s current projects will be affected by the job cuts, and the company will continue to make games.
The now-former CEO concluded that Bigpoint saw this coming last year, and they began reorganizing in the event of the market’s consolidation.