A new GamesBeat event is around the corner! Learn more about what comes next. 


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.

Webinar

Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.

Watch On Demand

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.

GamesBeat

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member