Bigpoint lays off 120, halts development in U.S.
Bigpoint (Battlestar Galactica Online
) has laid off more than 120 workers, over a third of whom are from its San Francisco studio, as the online game company abandons development in the U.S.
Founder and CEO Heiko Hubertz said the German company is cutting its staff in the States because it doesn't believe developing games in the U.S. is the most efficient strategy for Bigpoint. The developer and portal operator opened the San Francisco branch less than three years ago.
"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," Hubertz told
GamesIndustry.biz. "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."
Hubertz also disclosed that he is stepping down due to separate personal reasons, and will begin serving as the executive chariman for Bigpoint's board at the end of the year -- the company will announce his successor then. Hubertz attempted to resign before, but his intended replacement Arthur Bastings didn't work out.
Along with more than 40 employees now out of work at the San Francisco studio, around 80 of Bigpoint's staff in Hamburg -- mostly in the company's administrative departments -- have been laid off.
These layoffs follow just three months after Bigpoint closed its mobile division
, laid off 29 employees, and canceled a number of games. The company says that none of its projects currently under development will be affected by this latest headcount reduction.