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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Matthew Wilsonthe lose of nn would not be good for us, but it will not be good for verizion/comcast/att in the long run ether.04/24/2014 - 2:16pm
Matthew Wilsonsadly yes. it would take another sopa day to achieve it.04/24/2014 - 2:13pm
NeenekoI am also confused. Are you saying NN would only become law if Google/Netflix pushed the issue (against their own interests)?04/24/2014 - 2:10pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, you are saying a lot of things but I am still unclear on your point. Are you saying that the loss of Net Neutrality will be good in the long run?04/24/2014 - 2:06pm
Matthew WilsonOfcourse it does I never said it did not.though over time the death of NN will make backbone providers like Google, level3 and others stronger becouse most isps including the big ones can not provid internet without them. they can peer with smaller isps04/24/2014 - 1:54pm
E. Zachary KnightMatthew, and that still plays in Google's favor over their smaller rivals who don't have the muscle to stand up to ISPs.04/24/2014 - 1:45pm
Matthew Wilsongoogle wont pay becouse they control a large part of the backbone that all isps depend on. if verizon blocks their data, google does the same. the effect is Verizon loses access to 40% of the internet, and can not serve some areas at all.04/24/2014 - 1:14pm
Neenekolack of NN is in google and netflix interest. It is another tool for squeezing out smaller companies since they can afford to 'play'04/24/2014 - 12:57pm
Matthew WilsonI have said it before net nutrality will not be made in to law until Google or Netflix is blocked, or they do what they did for sopa and pull their sites down in protest.04/23/2014 - 8:02pm
Andrew EisenGee, I guess putting a former cable industry lobbyist as the Chairman of the FCC wasn't that great of an idea. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/24/technology/fcc-new-net-neutrality-rules.html?_r=204/23/2014 - 7:26pm
Andrew EisenIanC - I assume what he's getting at is the fact that once PS3/360 development ceases, there will be no more "For Everything But Wii U" games.04/23/2014 - 5:49pm
Andrew EisenMatthew - Yes, obviously developers will eventually move on from the PS3 and 360 but the phrase will continue to mean exactly what it means.04/23/2014 - 5:45pm
IanCAnd how does that equal his annoying phrase being meaningless?04/23/2014 - 5:09pm
Matthew Wilson@Andrew Eisen the phrase everything but wiiu will be meaningless afer this year becouse devs will drop 360/ps3 support.04/23/2014 - 4:43pm
Andrew EisenFor Everything But... 360? Huh, not many games can claim that title. Only three others that I know of.04/23/2014 - 3:45pm
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/04/23/another-world-rated-for-current-consoles-handhelds-in-germany/ Another World fulfills legal obligations of being on every gaming system under the sun.04/23/2014 - 12:34pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/04/steam-gauge-do-strong-reviews-lead-to-stronger-sales-on-steam/?comments=1 Here is another data driven article using sales data from steam to figure out if reviews effect sales. It is stats heavy like the last one.04/23/2014 - 11:33am
Andrew EisenI love RPGs but I didn't much care for Tales of Symphonia. I didn't bother with its sequel.04/23/2014 - 11:21am
InfophileIt had great RPGs because MS wanted to use them to break into Japan. (Which had the side-effect of screwing NA PS3 owners out of Tales of Vesperia. No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask?)04/23/2014 - 10:52am
RedMageI'm still disappointed the 360 never broke into Japan either. It had a bevy of great RPGs in the late 2000s.04/23/2014 - 9:48am
 

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