Berlin-based Wooga, the maker of casual games such as Pearl’s Peril, has laid off 40 people out of its 300 employees.
Jens Begemann, CEO of Wooga, confirmed in an email that the company made the cutbacks. Going forward, he said that Wooga will streamline its operations into three studios focused on creating hit casual mobile games.
This is includes the puzzle studio, led by Matt Roberts, who joined Wooga from Microsoft in early 2015. The first release of the Wooga puzzle studio will be the sequel to Bubble Island, Wooga’s global bubble shooter success with more than 90 million downloads. Bubble Island 2 will launch on October 6.
And Wooga six-year veteran Sebastian Nußbaum will continue to lead the studio focused on the development of hidden object games and build on the success he and his team created with Wooga’s successful hidden object game Pearl’s Peril.
Paul Virapen will take over the studio in charge of casual simulation games. Paul has previously founded and led his own games companies before joining Wooga last year.
“Wooga has a proven track record in casual mobile hit games like Jelly Splash, Pearl’s Peril Diamond Dash, and Bubble Island since its start in 2009”, said Begemann, in a statement. “However a number of recent projects in other genres have not met the ambitious expectations we had for them. In order to maintain our competitiveness within the maturing mobile games industry we have decided to focus on casual genres exclusively going forward and to streamline our organisation accordingly. As part of this re-focus we unfortunately have to separate from a number of employees. This has been a very difficult decision for us to make. I am convinced however that our new organizational structure enables us to set us up for sustainable success with a leading portfolio of casual mobile games.”
Wooga hasn’t said anything about the fate of Black Anvil Games, a new hardcore strategy game studio announced earlier this year.