120 employees let go from Bigpoint, CEO resigns [Update]

By Mike Thompson Comment

Free-to-play MMO developer Bigpoint has just laid off 120 people and CEO Heiko Hubertz is stepping down from his position.

According to the article, the company has let go 80 people from its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, and 40 people from the San Francisco office it established in 2010. Speaking to GamesIndustry International, Hubertz said developing games in the United States “is not really the most efficient way for us at the moment” between the lack of successful games the company’s developed and the competitive market created by the Bay Area. Back in August, the company dismissed almost 30 people as it scaled back on its mobile development efforts.

According to Hubertz, Bigpoint’s revenues have doubled year-over-year and the company’s been hiring based on expected growth, which it hasn’t seen this year. As a result, the company’s cutting employees mostly from within its administrative ranks and claims that none of its current games in development will see any effects from the layoffs.

Hubertz is going to transition to the company’s advisory board as an executive chairmen sometime before the year ends, but tells GamesIndustry his departure as CEO isn’t related to the layoffs in any way.

We’ve reached out to Bigpoint for further details about the layoffs and how its San Francisco office will be effected. If we receive a response, we’ll update this article.

Update: Inquiring about the state of the San Francisco office, we’re told by a company spokesperson it still has a healthy population: “The San Francisco office remains the strongest international office outside of our headquarters in Hamburg, Germany; our office will focus on the strength of our distribution network and partnerships – with business units in Business Development and Marketing here.”