Gree International lays off 30% of staff

UPDATE Japanese mobile game company Gree has laid off an estimated 30 percent of those working in its San Francisco office this week, months after shuttering its Vancouver studio entirely.

Update: This story originally cited a statement from Gree CEO Andrew Sheppard that the company laid off 30% of staff in its San Francisco studio this week. Gree representatives later contacted Gamasutra to issue a revised statement (used below) claiming that the company laid off 30% of staff at Gree International, the Western arm of Gree, which is headquartered in San Francisco.

Japanese mobile game company Gree has laid off a significant number of people working in its San Francisco office this week, months after shuttering its Vancouver studio entirely. 

"Today we made the difficult decision to reduce the workforce of our Gree International Inc. business by 30 percent," Gree chief Andrew Sheppard said today in a statement issued to GamesBeat and Gamasutra. "This was done to better align operations with our development goals and business strategy. Several teams in San Francisco were impacted — we are working closely with each and every person to ensure the smoothest transition possible. Offices in other locations were not affected."

The company is struggling to compete in a crowded mobile games market, and has been reporting declining profits for some time.

As always, if you or someone you know was affected by these layoffs you can email Gamasutra to tell your story confidentially.

Update #2: A verified source involved in the layoffs tells Gamasutra that the entire QA department of Gree's San Francisco office, as well as a large number of engineers, artists and other development staff, lost their jobs this week.

The source estimates that the headcount in the San Francisco office was reduced by as much as 66 percent by the cuts, and went on to speculate that Gree International is moving away from active game development and focusing more on publishing by relocating some of its internal development to other Gree offices and outsourcing its QA efforts.

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