Gree International Entertainment confirmed that it laid off an unspecified number of employees today in its San Francisco office.
Gree International is the overseas division of Gree, Japan’s big mobile game publisher. The company makes mobile games such as Modern War, Crime City, and Dragon Soul.
In a statement, the company said, “Today, Gree International Entertainment announced that the company is restructuring its San Francisco office, which includes a reduction in workforce. This reduction is due largely to the fact that we, like many other companies in the mobile games space, are expanding our development efforts in international markets.”
The change comes on the heels of an overall positive earnings picture, with the parent company hitting quarterly sales growth from the previous quarter for the first time in four years. Sales in the quarter were $133.7 million in the fourth quarter, with operating income of $13.1 million. But the company said that demand and cost for workers in San Francisco continues to rise. Gree said it needs to look at lower cost markets to continue operating its games.
From now on, the San Francisco arm of Gree International Entertainment will serve as the center for marketing and publishing efforts, as well as the development of games shortly after they release.
Meanwhile, Gree is developing its next major title, for launch in the summer of 2017, in Melbourne, Australia, with strategic and creative guidance from San Francisco and participation from the Berlin office.
The company said, “These are challenging times and it’s always hard to say goodbye to such great people who have helped make Gree an amazing place to work. We thank everyone affected for their hard work and wish them nothing but the best of luck in their future endeavors.”