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RockYou, the company that rescues games from other publishers, sees layoffs

The company's doing fine, the CEO says, but costs had to be controlled -- and 23 staff were let go as a result.

RockYou made the news last year for its innovative plan to rescue social and mobile games that other publishers didn't want anymore -- but which had healthy audiences -- and keep them alive, thus capturing ad revenue and ensuring their continued development. 

Today, however, we have confirmation directly from the company's CEO, Lisa Marino, of a layoff at the San Francisco-based studio.

"23 people were impacted, about 10 percent of our U.S. workforce. We also initiated other cost-cutting initiatives, as expenses were growing more quickly than was healthy for the business so we adjusted. Revenue is at a record high for Q4 and 2015 revenue is 2x 2014's, but given our model, expense discipline and profitability metrics are most important," Marino said via email.

The layoffs first came to light via posts by affected staffers on social media yesterday. 

The company's website says that its network of games -- some original to RockYou, and some salvaged -- has a global audience of 75 million players.

"As more and more gaming companies are moving off .coms and/or Facebook and on to mobile or other platforms, many titles are being sunsetted, and many very loyal players are being left behind," Marino told Gamasutra last year, describing the company's strategy of rescuing other publishers' games -- which she compared to cable networks picking up network TV shows for reruns.

Not long after the company announced its "rerun" strategy, RockYou was able to net $10 million in funding.

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