In a memo sent to employees today, Big Fish Games CEO Paul Thelen announced that the company is laying off 49 employees in its Seattle office and shutting down its office in Vancouver. Projects in the Vancouver office would be moved to Seattle. Thelen said that cuts and reduction in staff are part of an overall plan to exit business areas that are not growing or are no longer profitable such as the company's cloud-based delivery business.
"We need to realign our resources by increasing investment in the areas that are growing or profitable and eliminating investment in areas that are not on a path to success," Thelen wrote.
The company is aiming some of its investment in parts of the business that are growing such as casino games like Big Fish Casino and its casual and free-to-play games business.
Thelen also announced that John Holland, head of global operations, is being appointed president and chief operating officer of Big Fish Games. Dave Stephenson, the former president of the company, will leave Big Fish for a new opportunity. The company is also considering cutting a localization facility in Cork, Ireland.
"As the founder of this company, it is painful for me to say good-bye to colleagues who have become our trusted partners, and in so many ways, close friends," Thelen said. "Letting people go is not an easy decision, and we would not be making it if it weren’t absolutely necessary to secure the best possible future for us at Big Fish Games. There is never an easy or good way to do this, but we made every effort to be respectful and to do right by those who are departing wherever possible to minimize the impact this will have on their lives."