Halfbrick Studios was one of the few mobile game developers that were on the forefront of the mobile gaming revolution that happened during the early years of touchscreen smartphones. Their game, Fruit Ninja, was simple enough for anyone to understand. There’s fruit that flies up in the air and you have to cut it in the best way possible with your finger. That formula achieved them massive success and the game has been downloaded over one billion times. They also saw further success from Jetpack Joyride and became a titan in the mobile gaming world. However, things aren’t so peachy over there in Halfbrick’s studio in Brisbane.
Reported by CNET, Halfbrick has decided to make 30 staff members redundant as it wants to focus on its remaining franchises instead of developing new ones. The Brisbane studio now only has less than 30 people working there and will only be focusing on Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride. That’s an insane reduction in staff members for something that doesn’t quite make sense. I understand these two franchises are wildly popular, but surely the developer has enough assets and capital to invest in new properties or at least just keep the staff for support?
The business world is strange and it likes to swallow people whole, apparently. You’d never think that a once small indie mobile game developer that achieved billions of downloads would go through such violent corporate restructuring. But that’s the nature of the beast these days and as we’ve seen from mobile games, it’s all completely cynical. I just hope all those affected will land on their feet and have plenty of opportunities in the near future.