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Online game publisher 5th Planet Games has laid off a number of its employees as the company moves deeper into mobile games. That will be particularly hard during the holidays, and it shows that making games isn’t an easy business.

We heard about it first from an insider source, who said it was a sizable chunk of the 65 people that the company had in its employment earlier this year. Robert Winkler, chief executive of Rocklin, Calif.-based 5th Planet Games, confirmed in an email that the company has let go a “handful” of people in the past month as it pivots to mobile gaming. The company has had a couple of small cutbacks prior to the layoff that happened this week.

Winkler noted that the company launched its first mobile game, Curio Quest, last week on Google Play and the Apple App Store. The game has 240 different Curio monsters that you can collect, evolve, and battle. In the free-to-play game, you can jump into a player-versus-player tournament or form a club with your friends, and then battle with other clubs. The game has a 4.2 rating out of 5 on Google Play and a 4.9 out of 5 on iOS. More than 300,000 people have installed it in the past week, Winkler said.

“It is sad that we had to let a handful of people go since we tend to build strong connections within our team,” Winkler wrote. “But we do have an excellent team in place and are excited about our future in mobile.”


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Back in July, 5th Planet Games raised $3 million from investors in the Sacramento, Calif., area, including DCA Capital and Moneta Ventures. Winkler said that the company has aggressively hired new senior talent in mobile marketing, finance, and creative jobs.

5th Planet Games was founded in 2009, and it has created games such as Dawn of the Dragons and Legacy of a Thousand Suns.

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