RockYou Reveals Major Layoffs, Disassociation From Playdemic, Loot Drop
Social games company RockYou will today cut its staff numbers by 54 percent, while also selling back British studio Playdemic to its original founders.
According to Inside Social Games, talk of layoffs at RockYou started just over a month ago when the company's SVP Jonathan Knight left to join rival Zynga
RockYou CEO Lisa Marino said
that the company is now too big to be profitable, and that certain property that the company owns no longer fits with RockYou's overall vision.
The company originally bought Playdemic
back in January. By selling it back to its founders, 17 staff jobs will be culled at its central studio, along with 56 more at its Redwood City office.
Another 127 staff cuts will also be made, although it was not divulged where these will come from.
RockYou is also disassociating itself from John Romero's Loot Drop social studio, which it originally joined forces with
back in July.
Marino explained, "We made a lot of mistakes in the last 12 months. We built up a central studio that looks a lot like EA or Zynga with 45 heads in it when we really only needed 10 or 12."
"We developed two large-scale sim games -- Social Life
and Cloudforest Expedition
-- and Social Life
was [canceled] in May and Cloudforest
is in the process of being kicked back to Loot Drop. [Playdemic’s] Gourmet Ranch
is profitable, but [the developer] is not building the core content that we want."
She continued, "We don’t need 200 people to be a success. We got away from running RockYou as a business and we relied very heavily on the creative side of the house. What we learned this year was that was a bad strategy."