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Report: Mobile publisher Playtika is laying off up to 400 employees

Update: Around 10 percent of the company's workforce could be impacted by the cuts.

Chris Kerr, News Editor

January 12, 2024

3 Min Read
Key artwork for Playtika title Best Fiends
Image via Playtika

Mobile publisher Playtika is cutting between 300 to 400 jobs, according to a report from CTech. The Israeli company is known for working on casual titles like Best Fiends, Pirate Kings, and Board Kings.

CTech claims the company is preparing to reduce its headcount by 10 percent but indicated the layoffs won't impact workers based in Israel.

Playtika currently employs around 3,800 people worldwide but is no stranger to layoffs. Back in December 2022, the company axed over 600 workers and pulled multiple projects from its release slate.

At the time, the company said it was attempting to balance its internal teams and redeploy talent to create a more efficient pipeline. Those layoffs impacted around 15 percent of Playtika's workforce.

"As we assess the current environment and look toward the future, Playtika must return to our roots of excellence through agility, efficiency, creativity and being obsessed with winning to deliver the most fun forms of mobile entertainment to our players," said the company back in 2022.

Playtika's difficult marketing period

Playtika has since encountered more challenges. In March 2023, it seemingly tried and failed to acquire Angry Birds maker Rovio, which was eventually snapped up by Sega. It also announced it wouldn't be launching new titles for the "forseeable future" in order to navigate a challenging marketing period.

"Based on the current marketing environment, we made the decision to temporarily suspend our new game development pipeline until the ROI (return of investment) for new games is economically viable," explained president and CFO, Craig Abraham, in March last year.

Despite those challenges, Playtika spent over $450 million in 2023 on the acquisitions of Innplay Labs and Youda Games.

Game Developer has reached out to Playtika for more information on the reported layoffs, including how the studio intends to support those impacted by the job cuts.

Update (01/12/24): Belarusian outlet Devby is reporting (via Google translate) the layoffs will predominantly impact workers at Playtika's office in Belarus, which it claims is due to be closed at the end of February.

Information provided to Game Developer corroborates certain aspects of that report. We have learned that Playtika has indeed started transitioning some of its Belarusian operations over to Poland but is attempting to retain some employees impacted by the shift.

The company is also in the middle of re-evaulating its web3 plans just under two years after it began exploring the space with the appointment of blockchain and cybersecurity expert, Dr. Jacob Mendel, as its VP of blockchain tech.

Mendel was hired to help Playtika explore "growth opportunities" within the web3 market. When announcing the hire in 2022, Playtika said web3 felt like a "natural extension of its mobile gaming business" but has seemingly struggled to make headway in the space.

Additionally, some customer service roles are being outsourced, but there's currently no firm answer as to how many jobs will have been lost when the dust has settled.

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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