Bigpoint CEO steps down as 120 jobs are cut
German browser game company Bigpoint has cut 120 jobs across its Hamburg and San Francisco offices, while CEO Heiko Hubertz has resigned from his position.
The company’s Hamburg premises has seen 80 positions cut, while the remaining 40 were axed from the San Francisco office. As a result of the downsizing, Bigpoint will no longer produce any games in the US. Hubertz admits that the planned growth the company hoped for hasn’t happened, and that its games have not gained the traction needed to justify its current rate of expansion.
“We have seen that developing games in the US is not really the most efficient way for us at the moment,” Hubertz told GamesIndustry International in an interview. “The games that we have developed in the last two years haven’t been that successful, and the San Francisco area and Bay Area is quite a competitive market. San Francisco is, after New York, one of the most expensive cities you can live in in the US, so the people are quite expensive.”
The San Francisco office was opened in 2010 and was headed up by Hubertz himself. The studio’s first project was competitive shooter Ruined. Hubertz will now become executive chairman to the company’s supervisory board, his instatement planned to take place at the end of the year – at which time a replacement will be announced. Hubertz stresses that his resignation has nothing to do with the cutbacks, and is simply a case of coincidental timing.
“We need space for other investments in other areas,” Hubertz continued. “We’ve doubled our revenues almost every year, and we had a budget for this year of what we wanted in terms of revenue. Unfortunately we haven’t had the strong growth we hoped, but we had hired for this growth.”
In August, Bigpoint made 29 staff redundant as it began to withdraw from the mobile market, though recently opened sales-focused offices in London and Paris.