The famous French developer and publisher of mobile games Gameloft, created in 1999 by one of the five co-founders of Ubisoft, Michel Guillemot, unexpectedly closed its studio in Budapest (Hungary), which employed more than 90 people. This is reported by the Hungarian publication HVG.
Gameloft is “narrowing its focus” on the PC and console segments “to increase its growth potential, which requires it to rationalize its own priorities and reallocate some resources and investments,” according to information obtained from Gameloft Budapest managing director Zoltan Viola.
That is, the company is reducing its efforts in the development of mobile games and refocusing on games for PC and consoles. This is very surprising, because a developer and publisher that has been releasing shareware games for phones and smartphones for decades simply cannot quickly refocus on the big game market. Jason Schreier’s book Press Reset: Ruin and Recovery in the Video Game Industry provides some egregious examples of such initiatives failing.
“This led to the difficult decision to close our Budapest studio. The teams have been notified and we are working to find the best possible solution for the affected employees,” Gameloft’s response concluded.
New CEO Alexandre de Rochefort took over Gameloft in early January 2023 and immediately indicated that one of the priorities of his appointment would be to “reorganize the company.” As a reminder, Gameloft was the victim of an unfriendly takeover by the Vivendi corporation in 2016 and is now unrelated to Ubisoft.
Since 2007, two large Gameloft studios have been operating in Ukraine – Gameloft Kharkiv (2007) and Gameloft Lviv (2014), which are also engaged in mobile games. According to DOU.ua Gameloft is among 50 largest IT companies of Ukraine, almost 650 people are employed in Ukrainian branches.
It is currently unknown whether the cuts will affect Gameloft’s Ukrainian offices, but usually major reorganizations, especially with such drastic changes in priority, are very painful.