GREE closes Osaka office, looks to reduce workforce by 11 percent
GREE’s financial struggles are continuing this week, as the Japanese mobile game developer / publisher is looking to reduce its total workforce by 11 percent, or around 200 employees. The company will also close its Osaka office, according to GamesIndustry International.
The news comes from a document sourced and translated by Japanese market analyst Dr. Serkan Toto. The document reveals that around 200 of GREE’s employees will be offered a voluntary retirement plan, aimed at reducing overall employment costs. GREE’s 30 Osaka employees will also have to take voluntary retirement plans or move to the company’s Tokyo offices.
GREE has provided Inside Mobile Apps with a statement on its plans:
GREE has in recent months carried out a range of adjustments to its operations to align them with challenging business conditions and lower revenues, based on a process of selection and concentration. This has included narrowing the portfolio of titles that we develop and operate, and reducing fixed costs. We have also reorganized our business as a whole, establishing separate Web Game Business and Native Game Business divisions among other structural changes, as we adapt our operations to ongoing changes in the market and in our operating environment.
Against this background, we have decided to further streamline our operations by implementing a voluntary redundancy program in our administrative and back-office departments at our headquarters in Tokyo. To lessen the impact for those leaving GREE as part of this program, we have arranged job placement support and other measures to aid them in the transition. This initiative, like the other strategic measures we have implemented recently, is aimed at transforming GREE into a leaner, stronger company.
This isn’t the first round of layoffs at GREE in recent months. The company laid off 30 employees in its San Francisco office in May, and lost another 25 last December. The company reported financial declines in Q3 2013, with revenues down 18 percent year-over-year, and shuttered its UK offices in July.
Still, GREE continues to bring new games to market. Its Jackpot Bingo launched on Android just this week, and GREE and Marvel’s X-Men: Battle of the Atom is expected to release on iOS and Android this fall.