Digital Chocolate CEO Trip Hawkins today announced he is stepping down as the company’s CEO and stepping into a “consulting and advisory relationship” with the studio. Hawkins is still listed as the CEO on Digital Chocolate’s website and no replacement has been officially announced by the time of writing, nor has a new CEO been listed on the company’s LinkedIn profile.
On his blog, Hawkins states the company “is narrowing its focus and it made sense to get more streamlined.” TechCrunch reports there are are also rumors of layoffs hitting several of the company’s offices, including half the staffs of the Bangalore and San Mateo studios. Meanwhile, offices in Armenia, Bothell, St. Petersburg and Mexico are reportedly being shut down. Francisco Casanova, GM of Digital Chocolate’s Mexico studio, added credibility to these reports when he tweeted the office just closed its doors.
Digital Chocolate was founded eight years ago by Hawkins and hit peak user numbers in December 2010 with 29.8 million monthly active users and 4.2 million daily active users. This was mainly due to the popularity of Millionaire City, which had 12.9 million MAU and 2.9 million DAU at the time. None of Digital Chocolate’s other titles have been able to recreate that level of success and the company’s traffic is now down to 6.2 million MAU and 902,000 DAU. Galaxy Life is the studio’s most popular title with 1.7 million MAU and 310,000 DAU, while Gangs of Boomtown was recently released on Facebook after a Google+ exclusive and now has 480,000 MAU and 50,000 DAU.
Hawkins says he plans to remain involved in game development and will be available for “mentoring, consulting, teaching, speaking and writing” and can be reached through his personal website.