German online game publisher Bigpoint is closing its mobile division. The company confirmed the news with GamesIndustry International today, revealing the move will see 29 employees laid off and the majority of the company’s 10 upcoming mobile projects cancelled.
The news is surprising, given the speed at which many other online game developers and publishers like Switzerland’s Miniclip and fellow Germans Innogames are moving their resources into mobile gaming.
In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Bigpoint CEO Heiko Hubertz said: “I’m a big believer in mobile, it’s going to change many things in the games industry. But I also think it’s not the right time at the moment to be in this market because to generate revenues in this market is very tough.”
According to a press release distributed today, the Bigpoint will adopt a new mobile strategy that will see it work with external studios, rather than in-house developers.
Bigpoint accompanied the news with a significant executive reorganization, billed as a way to increase focus on the company’s core capabilities — game development and international distribution. Former Ringier CEO Christian Unger has been appointed interm COO. Khaled Heliou joins as the company as Chief Games Officer. Existing Bigpoint employees Claire Davenport and Tim Weickert received promotions, taking on respective new roles as the company’s Chief Commercial Officer and Chief Technical Officer.