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Exient lays off 60% of Leamington staff

Mobile developer says it was "overstaffed", former staff have already formed new studio

GamesIndustry.biz has learned there have been significant layoffs at Exient's Royal Leamington Spa studio.

Initial sources claimed as much as 80% of the firm's workforce has been made redundant but an official statement has since reduced this to 60%. The staff were dismissed last month.

The mobile developer is best known for its collaborations with Rovio on Angry Birds Transformers and Angry Birds Go, as well as its more recent partnership with the BBC to create a Strictly Come Dancing game.

However, the firm has since found that servicing these titles is all the company can currently afford to do and so has laid off more than half of its development staff.

"The reason is simple: we were overstaffed for the work that we had on the books, so an adjustment in staffing levels was required to correct the operation," CEO Dave Hawkins told GamesIndustry.biz.

"Today, the Leamington studio develops and services Strictly Come Dancing [released as Dancing with the Stars in the US], Angry Birds Transformers and Angry Birds Go."

GamesIndustry.biz has also learned that Exient's game director Richard McClaughry and nine of his colleagues who have also been affected by the layoffs have since formed a new studio, Well Played Games.

The start-up already has two projects in the works in partnership with "established British IP" and is also based in Leamington Spa.

If you have jobs news to share or a new hire you want to shout about, please contact us on newhires@gamesindustry.biz

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