Coco Girl Developer MetroGames Hit With Layoffs

Coco Girl developer MetroGames began staff cuts this month after a deal to buy the social game developer failed to close, Inside Social Games can confirm.

An email sent to various news outlets last week by someone claiming to be a MetroGames employee says the developer is facing an imminent closure and that CEO Damián Harburguer and COO Julián Lisenberg were privately pressuring workers to quit while publicly asking them to keep working despite nonpayment of December wages and bonuses. Harburguer followed up with ISG this week to confirm that the developer was facing layoffs after months of strenuous and ultimately unsuccessful efforts to sell the company to a buyer.

“We informed our staff of our financial condition last week,” Harburguer tells us in an emailed statement. “A significant number of really talented employees have left the company and we will be forced to make additional reductions very soon. We regret that this happened during the Holiday season, but we did not want to take drastic action while any chance remained that a deal would be successful. We are doing everything we can to help our former employees find new positions with other companies in Buenos Aires and elsewhere.”

It was unclear from his statement whether or not MetroGames would be shutting down. According to our AppData traffic tracking service, the developer currently enjoys 5.5 million monthly active users and 783,000 daily active users across all its Facebook games, with the recently launched Coco Girl making up more than 60% of that traffic. Earlier this year, the developer officially launched its Grand Theft Auto-inspired Facebook title, Auto Hustle. In June, the company partnered with EA mobile game publishing studio Chillingo to begin its entry into iOS with both existing and new IP. MetroGames currently has two titles available in the App Store — Plock and Typing Maniac.