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Goodgame Studios redundancies could hit 200 people

German company will focus its resources on mobile and PC strategy titles, and cease production of casual and client games

At least 100 people working at Goodgame Studios will lose their jobs as the German company prepares to restructure around its, "core competencies."

Ultimately, that means Goodgame Studios will cease production of casual and PC client games, focusing instead on its "very profitable" PC and mobile strategy products. In an official statement released last week, the Hamburg-based company also emphasised its strength in performance marketing, but warned that every department not related to game development will be part of the forthcoming reorganisation.

However, exactly how many people will be affected remains unclear. Goodgame Studios has indicated that the eventual redundancies will likely be "a lower three-digit number," which suggests an absolute minimum of 100 people with the potential to be as high as double that amount. Whatever the result, it will be a substantial proportion of the company's total workforce, which reached 1200 people in March 2015. At that point, Goodgame's headcount had doubled in little more than a year, and a further 400 hires were planned before the end of 2015.

"[Redundancies] are unavoidable to secure the successful future of Goodgame Studios and sustained job security of the remaining employees"

Christian Wawrzinek, COO

Goodgame will now offer its employees a "voluntary redundancy program," which was devised in collaboration with the Goodgame Employee Committee. The program "exceeds normal market levels," according to the company, but not all employees will have a choice in whether their time at Goodgame will come to an end. All existing temporary contracts will not be renewed, and it may be necessary to implement compulsory redundancies, "for operational reasons."

Those affected by any compulsory redundancies will receive a "high severance package" and be offered a transfer to a Goodgame-funded, "employment transitional company." Expat employees will have all relocation costs reimbursed.

"We had intensive talks about the restructuring plans with the management team, in order to enforce and safeguard the interests of our co-workers," said Alexander Brüne, spokesperson for the Goodgame Studios Employee Committee, in a statement. "Our overarching goal for the social plan was to include an optimal balance between high levels of freedom in choosing individual solutions and to ensure good financial security for all affected.

"After constructive, but tough negotiations, the agreed package now balances these aspects and does justice to our diverse workforce's needs. We hope this will help pave the way to new opportunities beyond Goodgame Studios for all affected colleagues."

This round of redundancies will be completed by the end of September this year, at which point Goodgame will be ready to launch "new promising games" over the following six months. Goodgame COO Christian Wawrzinek expressed regret at the necessity of the layoffs, but said, "they are unavoidable to secure the successful future of Goodgame Studios and sustained job security of the remaining employees."

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.

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