RockYou Slashes 50 Percent of Staff, Dropping Loot Drop Deal

November 3, 2011 -

California-based social game developer RockYou will lay off 100 employees. Around 40 employees will be going with Playdemic, the firm RockYou acquired in January of this year. The company will sell the studio back to its founders. Around 56 employees will be downsized from RockYou’s Redwood City headquarters, leaving around 90 employees at the company. The cuts and staff moves equate to a 50 percent overall reduction of staff.

“We went too far down the creative path and lost our way in terms of being a profitable organization,” RockYou CEO Lisa Marino told TechCrunch. “While today is a tough day, I am incredibly bullish on the business going forward.”

RockYou will also be terminating its deal with John Romero's Loot Drop, according to IndustryGamers. Romero's studio is developing the game Cloudforest Expedition.

“We made a lot of mistakes in the last 12 months,” Marino told InsideSocialGames. “We built up a central studio that looks a lot like EA or Zynga with 45 heads in it when we really only needed 10 or 12. We developed two large-scale sim games — Social Life and Cloudforest Expedition — and Social Life was [canceled] in May and Cloudforest is in the process of being kicked back to Loot Drop. [Playdemic’s] Gourmet Ranch is profitable, but [the developer] is not building the core content that we want.”

“We don’t need 200 people to be a success. We got away from running RockYou as a business and we relied very heavily on the creative side of the house. What we learned this year was that was a bad strategy,” she continued.

“Cloudforest is a perfect example. We spent an awful lot developing that game and ultimately — as a power user — I couldn’t figure out how to spend more than $10 in it. It’s a beautiful frickin’ game, but it doesn’t monetize. If we can’t have a game that’s both really good and profitable, that doesn’t count as a good game to RockYou.”

Marino also believes that the company miss-stepped when it tried to add a new ad platform in its popular Zoo World social game. The company says that it has "repaired the damage," but daily active users for RockYou have declined from a high of 1.6 million in August of this year to right around 640,000.

Source: IndustryGamers

 

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E. Zachary KnightGot that same recommendation on Twitter. So I guess that is a good sign.09/15/2014 - 8:39pm
prh99Portlandia, though I don't watch a lot of sitcoms. Heard it was good though.09/15/2014 - 8:02pm
E. Zachary KnightSitcom recommendations for someone who like Parks and Rec but hates The Office: Go.09/15/2014 - 6:08pm
NeenekoEven if they do change their policy, they can only do it moving forward and I could see the mod/pack community simply branching.09/15/2014 - 12:50pm
Michael ChandraAs for take the money and run, the guy must have a networth of 8~9 digits already.09/15/2014 - 10:33am
Michael ChandraMe, I'm more betting on some form of mod API where servers must run donations/payments through them and they take a cut.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraEspecially since they want it for promoting their phones. Killing user interest is the dumbest move to make.09/15/2014 - 10:32am
Michael ChandraGiven how the EULA actively allows for LPs, I'm not sure Microsoft is ready for the backlash of disallowing that.09/15/2014 - 10:31am
Matthew Wilsonthey wont do that, the backlash would be too big.09/15/2014 - 10:25am
ConsterSleaker: how is that a flipside? Sounds to me like that's basically what Notch himself said, except rudely.09/15/2014 - 10:18am
MaskedPixelanteOn the plus side, no more lazy Minecraft LPs, since iirc Microsoft has a strict "no monetization period" policy when it comes to their stuff.09/15/2014 - 10:13am
james_fudgeBut it continues to sell on every platform it is on, so there's that09/15/2014 - 10:09am
james_fudgeOh, well that's another matter :)09/15/2014 - 10:08am
E. Zachary KnightNothing against Notch here. I think it is great that he made something so cool. I just can't understand how it is worth $2.5 bil09/15/2014 - 9:59am
InfophileWhat a world we live in: Becoming a billionaire was the easy way out for Notch.09/15/2014 - 9:42am
james_fudgelots of hate for Notch here. I don't get it. Sorry he made a game everyone loved. What a monster he is!09/15/2014 - 9:37am
SleakerOn the flipside, Notch has been a horrible CEO for Mojang, and the company has grown on sheer inertia, DESPITE being mishandled over and over.09/15/2014 - 9:33am
SleakerI can understand Notch's statements he made to Kotaku about growing bigger than he intended, and getting hate for EULA changes he didn't enact.09/15/2014 - 9:32am
MaskedPixelantehttp://pastebin.com/n1qTeikM Notch's statement about the MS acquisition. He wanted out for a long time and this was the easiest way.09/15/2014 - 9:08am
ConsterEh, I can't blame him.09/15/2014 - 9:01am
 

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