Zynga reports Q4 2013 results, announces NaturalMotion acquisition, layoffs


Mobile and social game developer and publisher Zynga has revealed its earnings for Q4 2013, with the company announcing a full year of profitability in 2013 and Q4 revenue of $176 million. This is a 43 percent decrease in revenue year-over-year and a 13 percent decrease from Q3 2013. Zynga’s full 2013 revenue was $873 million, a decrease of 32 percent from 2012.


Report: Zombie Farm developer The Playforge to lay off staff, cease new development [Updated]

Image via The Playforge

Image via The Playforge

Update: The Playforge President Jack Sorensen confirms to Inside Mobile Apps that some Playforge team members have been let go, but says The Playforge itself is not closing. It will continue to support the Zombie Farm and Tree World franchises, but is winding down development of new games.

Original story: Zombie Farm maker The Playforge will be closing, laying off its entire remaining staff, a source close to the situation tells Inside Mobile Apps. The Playforge was acquired by Saban Brands in August 2012, and suffered an earlier layoff last July, when around 20 staff members, or 40 percent of the team, was let go.


Mobile developer TinyCo announces layoff of 27 employees

Image via TinyCo

Image via TinyCo

Mobile developer TinyCo has announced its execution of a new strategy, which sees the Tiny Chef developer laying off 27 employees across its offices.


GREE closes Osaka office, looks to reduce workforce by 11 percent

Image via GREE

Image via GREE

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.


Report: Omgpop shut downs as part of Zynga’s restructuring

Omgpop logoAs part yesterday’s staff purging at Zynga, which saw 520 employees lose their jobs, in other words 18 percent of its staff, Zynga shut down Draw Something developer Omgpop’s office, according to a report from The Verge.

Along with the layoffs, Zynga shut down its Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York offices. But, Zynga New York does include Omgpop, and now former Omgpop employees are making it public on Twitter that they are out of jobs. (more…)

Zynga lays off 18 percent of its employees, shuts down 3 offices

Zynga logoZynga today let go 18 percent of its employees (approximately 520 people) after shutting down its Los Angeles, Dallas and New York City studios. The studios that were shut down was first reported by AllThingsD. A small portion of the 18 percent were let go from Zynga’s Los Angeles office, which saw 55 employees losing their jobs, according to a tweet from an artist at the Los Angeles studio. Empires & Allies, the first game for Facebook from the Los Angeles studio, will be shut down on June 17. The layoffs and cost cuts will be completed by August.

According to a release from Zynga, the move will result in an estimated $70 million to $80 million in pre-tax annualized cash expense savings.Zynga revenue slide Q1 2013 earnings report

In February, Zynga closed it’s Baltimore studio as well as relocated its Mckinney, Texas and downtown Austin offices to its Dallas and North Austin Offices. The New York City offices saw consolidation as well, with the staff moving to the New York City mobile studio before being completely shut down today. In October 2012, Zynga laid off more than 100 employees, axing employees from its Chicago office, while completely closing down its Boston office. (more…)

GREE hit with another round of layoffs

GREE logoJapanese mobile-social gaming juggernaut GREE recently laid off around 30 employees from its San Francisco office, according to GameIndustry International.

“We have recently aligned GREE’s U.S. studio to focus on creating the next generation of mobile social games,” said Anil Dharni, chief operating officer of GREE, in an official statement. “This shift in focus has been clearly demonstrated by the success and growth of our games. As part of ensuring that we are operating as efficiently as possible, we have made the difficult decision to reduce our work force. The employees leaving today have made great contributions to our success and we wish them all the best.”

In December 2012, GREE restructured its company, letting go 25 people, mostly from GREE’s social networking platform OpenFeint team. GREE announced the closing of OpenFeint a month prior to the layoffs. GREE acquired OpenFeint in April 2011 for $104 million as part of the Japanese company’s efforts to expand into Western markets.

Stay tuned to Inside Mobile Apps for GREE’s Q3 2013 earnings tomorrow.

Glu Mobile’s Q1 2013 smartphone revenues fall 7.6% Q-over-Q to $17.1M, down 1.7% Y-over-Y

Glu Mobile logoMobile game developer and publisher Glu Mobile today reported total non-GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) smartphone revenues of $17.1 million for Q1 2013, falling by 7.6 percent from Q4 2012′s $18.5 million, and by 1.7 percent from Q1 2012′s $17.4 million. iOS and Android accounted for 91 percent of Glu’s smartphone revenue, marginally down from 92 percent in Q4 2012.

Glu also cut staff yesterday in an effort to reduce the number of its development studio teams and eliminate certain research and development positions. The reduction in staff was equivalent to circa 12 percent of this year’s starting headcount of 564 employees. Glu also made this decision to enable it to hire additional monetization, live operations, server technology, user experience and product management personnel to support Glu’s transition to becoming a games-as-a-service (GaaS) company. Glu plans to bring headcount up to 580 by year’s end. Restructuring will complete no later than June 30, 2013. Glu did just hire Chris Arkhavan as president of publishing, who is focusing on growing advertising revenues, increasing direct marketing efficiencies and overseeing third-party publishing.

“Our goal is to shift headcount out of raw studio team volume and into our GaaS functions,” says Niccolo de Masi, CEO of Glu Mobile, in today’s earnings call.glu-earnings-q1-2013-1

The company’s total revenue for the first quarter of 2013 was $19.0 million, down 12 percent from $21.6 million in Q1 2012, and fell 8.7 percent quarter-over-quarter from total revenue of $20.8 million in Q4 2012. Non-GAAP operating loss was $2.2 million in Q1 2013 compared to Q1 2012′s $23,000 and Q4 2012′s $2.5 million. Glu’s non-GAAP net loss was $2.3 million in Q1 2013, resulting in a non-GAAP earnings per share (EPS) loss of $0.03.

“I’m pleased with the moentization progress we made in Q1 and the steps we are taking to maintain this momentum,” de Masi says.

The San Francisco-headquartered game studio released seven freemium games in Q1 — Dragon Storm, Stardom: Hollywood, Gun Bros 2, Small City, Samurai vs. Zombies Defense 2, Heroes of Destiny, and Frontline Commando: D-Day. Titles released in Q1 2013 accounted for 16 percent ($2.66 million) of non-GAAP smartphone revenue this past quarter. Glu now plans to launch 12 first-party titles in 2013, with five already out. In March, Glu, in partnership with mobile gambling service Probability PLC, launched its first real-money game title Samurai vs. Zombies Defense Slots for the web in the U.K. Glu also announced today’s launch of another slots game in partnership with Probability with Contract Killer Slots in the U.K. Lastly, Glu began development on a Glu-IP-branded mobile casino suites game, which is expected to launch in the U.K. by Q3 2013.


Daily active users (DAU) rose from 3.5 million in Q4 2012 to 3.9 million in Q1 2013. Monthly active users (MAU) also increased, moving from 34.8 million in Q4 2012 to 40.1 million in Q1 2013.

In Q1 2013, Glu’s average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU) was 6.4 cents, down from 6.7 cents in Q4 2012. The average for the percentage of MAU converting to paid users stood still at 0.7 percent. Stardom: The A List once again had the highest ARPDAU at 8.3 cents, although that figure fell from 9.1 cents in Q4 2012. The female-focused game also had the greatest conversation rate, converting 1.2 percent of MAU to paid users. Contract Killer 2 led all Glu titles again as the game with the most DAU, with 292,000 DAU. Heroes of Destiny and Dragon Storm, two Q1 2013 releases, broke Glu’s own ARPDAU records. As for Glu’s third-party publishing efforts, the game house plans to launch six titles globally by December 2013.

Glu’s most lucrative title for Q1 2013 was Eternity Warriors 2, which generated $2.1 million in non-GAAP revenue. Another notable title was Contract Killer 2, which raked in $1.8 million.

For Q2 2013, Glu estimates non-GAAP smartphone revenue between $15.2 million and $16.2 million. Glu now predicts between $80 million and $84 million in smartphone revenue for the 2013 fiscal year, down from the company’s prediction of $84 million to $88 million it provided in the Q4 2012 earnings release. As of March 31, 2013, Glu finished the quarter with a cash balance of $21.2 million and no debt.

Glu’s stock price dipped 7 cents after the release of its earnings report to $3.01 per share, with a market cap of $200.5 million. In after hours trading, the stock dropped even more to $2.90.

Glu stock May 1 2013



25 people laid off from GREE’s U.S. offices, consolidates existing teams

Mobile-social gaming giant GREE announced a restructuring yesterday that will see part of the platform team moving from San Francisco back to its headquarters in Tokyo, with 25 people losing their jobs in the process, reported TechCrunch. GREE also created two new organizations in an effort to consolidate, which includes a publishing and partnerships team focusing on second and third-party studios and a growth and revenue team focusing on first and second-party games.

In GREE’s Q1 2013 quarterly results, the company’s net profit in Q1 2013 fell 26.3 percent quarter-over-quarter. The Japanese giant’s profit were hamstrung by the high costs of international expansion and the kompu gacha ban by Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency. Kompu gacha is a practice that heavily incentivized the purchase of random virtual goods.

According to TechCrunch, most of the layoffs hit GREE’s social networking platform OpenFeint, which it recently announced it will shut down by Dec. 14. GREE first acquired OpenFeint in April 2011 for $104 million, with the hopes to further break into the U.S. market.

Glu Mobile cuts staff in Kirkland and San Francisco offices, closes Sao Paulo office

Mobile game developer and publisher Glu Mobile announced today that it has cut 25 percent of its staff from the Kirkland, Wash. office and five percent from the San Francisco office as well as shut down its Sao Paulo office to concentrate resources in Glu Mobile’s six other offices.

Glu Mobile president of studios Matt Ricchetti will also be changing roles and heading up its Kirkland, Wash. office (Griptonite Games). Glu Mobile said in its Q3 2012 earnings call that it will be holding total R&D investment steady between 2012 and 2013, so it can rebalance its R&D function worldwide. The changes are said to increase the company’s monetization oversight.

This isn’t the first time Glu has restructured. Back in Aug. 2011, Glu Mobile let go several key executives including vice president of marketing Michael Breslin, chief creative office Giancarlo Mori and Sarah Thompson, who ran its partnership program.

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