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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MechaTama31Goth_Skunk: It's not too late for CiVIlization... ;)01/28/2015 - 12:40am
MechaCrashI thought one of its other big issues was all the "quality" of phone games with all the portability of your television.01/27/2015 - 11:34pm
E. Zachary KnightApparently, people did not want a $100 console, they wanted a $200 one for a $100 price tag.01/27/2015 - 11:18pm
E. Zachary KnightI remember when people were demanding Ouya used the new and untested Tegra 4 processor rather than the tried and true Tegra 3, increase the RAM to 2Gigs and various other expensive addons.01/27/2015 - 11:17pm
ConsterCraig: perhaps I should've used the word "unreasonable", as in people clamoring for stretch goals that would guarantee they lose money on each deck.01/27/2015 - 10:04pm
Andrew EisenIt's my favorite movie. I'm looking forward to it as well.01/27/2015 - 9:16pm
Goth_SkunkI grew up idolizing Ghostbusters. I'm extremely excited to see another film.01/27/2015 - 8:52pm
Goth_SkunkEscapist -- via Hollywood reporter -- gives us a glimpse at the probable cast of the new Ghostbuster's movie: http://ow.ly/I3GyZ01/27/2015 - 8:51pm
Craig R.Nearly $4.2m in a week for Exploding Kittens. Can anything truly be unrealistic at this point?01/27/2015 - 8:50pm
prh99I am sure. Just have no interest in tropes in general or her take on gender portrayal.01/27/2015 - 7:44pm
Goth_SkunkI personally enjoy replacing letters with numbers in titles of movies and games. I think Firaxis missed out on a huge chuckle by calling it "Civilization V" and not "CiVilization."01/27/2015 - 7:20pm
Andrew EisenI bet I can guess how you voted!01/27/2015 - 7:02pm
prh99Never actually watched one, probably won't start.01/27/2015 - 6:15pm
E. Zachary KnightConster, when are unrealistic stretch goal demands anything new? They happen in every Kickstarter I have seen.01/27/2015 - 5:58pm
E. Zachary KnightAE: You forgot the "The video that conforms to my preconceived ideas about gender in games" option.01/27/2015 - 5:56pm
PHX Corp@Conster ok, randomly put 5 golden tickets into the boxes and anyone who gets a golden ticket gets to go and visit Willy Wonka's chocolate factory!, is a ultra-ridiculous stretch goal suggested by a backer01/27/2015 - 5:53pm
ConsterApparently they're unaware that unlike with video games, card games have a large constant factor in cost-per-unit.01/27/2015 - 5:24pm
ConsterIn other news, Exploding Kittens (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/elanlee/exploding-kittens) has over 100k backers now, a few of which are calling for unrealistic stretch goals.01/27/2015 - 5:23pm
ConsterIt's cool in Numb3rs, but not really anywhere else.01/27/2015 - 5:20pm
james_fudgeI hate that style of naming too01/27/2015 - 4:34pm
 

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