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Goodgame Studios laying off another 200 staff

'Refocusing' process continues at Hamburg-based casual specialist

The harrowing process of extensive redundancies has continued at Hamburg's Goodgame Studios, with a further 200 job losses confirmed by the company overnight.

The new cuts are part of the plan to 'refocus' the business on core games which began in the summer of 2016. In that wave, around 400 employees were made redundant, and more losses were hinted at. Yesterday 200 more were added to that list of casualties.

In an email to staff acquired by Gamasutra, management blamed the layoffs on the increasing difficulty of business in the free-to-play sector.

"The market for free-to-play games is highly competitive and proves more and more challenging for all market players across the industry in Germany," it reads. "The industry is fighting for market shares with rapidly increasing marketing budgets, the success of new games is increasingly difficult to predict. We are also affected by these developments. At the same time, our new developments have not yielded the desired success, yet."

As part of the process, founding brothers Kai and Christian Wawrzinek will return to leadership positions at the firm, with current CEO Maximilian Schneider leaving at the end of February.

"The decision we took last summer, to concentrate more on our core brands - Goodgame Empire, Empire: Four Kingdoms, and Big Farm - and to place our customers at the heart of our activities, is still the right thing to do," said new CEO Kai Wawrzinek. "Moreover, we will invest some million euros in our HTML5 strategy and see further chances for growth there. With shorter decision-making processes, our new, clear focus and investments in the HTML5 strategy, the foundation for the long term company success of Goodgame Studios is laid."

The contraction marks a sharp turn in the company's fortunes, which had shown significant revenue growth in 2014/15 and doubled its headcount as a result.

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Dan Pearson avatar

Dan Pearson