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[Updated] Layoffs At Glu Mobile, Griptonite Still Home To 'Several Full Development Teams'

by Mike Futter on May 02, 2013 at 03:44 AM

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[Update] Glu Mobile has confirmed to Game Informer that layoffs did take place yesterday in Kirkland, Washington, San Francisco, California, and Beijing, China. The following statement was provided by Glu CEO Niccolo de Masi via a representative. 

We believe concentrating resources on fewer titles, with a greater centralized support infrastructure will accelerate revenue growth in Q4 2013 and beyond.  We made over 20 new ‘games-as-a-service’ (GaaS) hires in Q1 and anticipate hiring at a similar rate throughout the year. Our goal is to shift headcount investment out of raw studio team volume and into our centralized GaaS functions.  This rebalancing is expected to leave R&D costs approximately flat year over year.  A reduction in force was commenced today to promote talent density throughout the studio, as well as fund over 80 new GaaS colleagues.  This reduction is equivalent to circa 12% of the year’s starting headcount of 564 employees.  Adding back forecast hiring we anticipate finishing 2013 with 582 Gluers worldwide.”

We have also been told that Griptonite still exists and "will continue to be home to several full development teams."

[Original Story]

There is a report that significant layoffs have hit Glu Mobile and, specifically, Griptonite Games. According to a statement from Glu's CEO by way of a representative, the cuts amount to approximately 12% of worldwide staff.

IGN has reported the matter, and according to the Glu statement, staffing prior to the reductions amounted to 564 employees. The company expects to refocus and finish the year with new hires that will push payroll above that number. 

Griptonite's website is not currently loading, and IGN believes that the staff has been reduced to an extremely small number. This is in line with Glu's statement indicating a shift from studio development to a focused games-as-a-service model.

Griptonite is responsible for a number of portable versions of console games, including entries in the Assassin's Creed, Harry Potter, and Bejeweled franchises. The studio was also behind a number of comic book titles starring DC and Marvel heroes, and an update to the Atari classic Warlords.

Glu Mobile is behind titles in a variety of genres, including DJ Hero Mobile, Lord of the Rings: Middle Earth Defense, and Transformers G1: Awakening. They are also responsible for Gun Bros., which made news for offering players a nearly $500 in-app purchase weapon.

We have reached out to Glu Mobile for further comment and specifics on the impact to Griptonite and will update as more information is available. For the statement from Glu Mobile, please visit IGN.