GamesBeat

Game maker RockYou to cut staff by 40% just weeks after launching two new games

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Game-maker RockYou is set to announce major layoffs tomorrow just weeks after launching two new games, Galactic Allies and Hooked, VentureBeat has learned. Redwood City, CA.-based, RockYou makes games for social platforms like Facebook, and is responsible for popular titles such as the Zoo World franchise.  As many as 55 employees will lose their jobs, according to a leaked copy of an internal document we have seen.

The news, to be announced on Nov. 3, is meant to bring the company’s overall size down to 87, and weed out those  “‘those that really arent “all in,”‘ according to the memo. The document appears legitimate, although RockYou did not return multiple calls to comment, so we were unable to verify its authenticity. According to the document:

[G]oing forward we will need to be much more focused and lean in order to ensure we keep hitting these success milestones. Unfortunately, that means that over then next week or so the management team will need to make some very tough decisions that will result in an overall reduction of our workforce.

RockYou, which bought up rival game makers Playdemic and Tirnua previously announced  a round of layoffs in October of 2010, and the company’s CEO resigned in late 2010. In April 2011, the promoted Lisa Marino to the position of CEO, after former CEO Lance Tokuda left the company in November of 2010. RockYou recently lost Jonathan Knight to San Francisco-based Zynga, which is gearing up for an initial public offering.

The confidential draft document shows that roles the company eliminates in order to “focus on the long term vision” will not be back-filled, unless business circumstances change. The company plans to “stay lean,” according to the documents, but will move to replace employees who may quit after the announcement, though no effort will be made to re-hire former employees.

RockYou was founded in 2005 and has received more than $129 million from investors Sequoia Capital, Partech International, Lightspeed Venture Partners, DCM and Softbank. Partech is also an investor in VentureBeat.


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