Underperforming celebrity games leads to 50 jobs cuts at Glu Mobile

James Bond: World of Espionage and Katy Perry: Pop cited as disappointing releases
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Glu Mobile has dismissed 50 staff from three of its development studios.

The redundancies were made back in December and were the result of poor performances from key celebrity-branded releases that were expected to improve the company’s financial performance in the second half of 2015.

While celebrity games like Kim Kardashian: Hollywood have been a major driver for Glu over the past year, James Bond: World of Espionage and Katy Perry: Pop failed to match the success of previous titles, according to GamesIndustry.

CEO Niccolo de Masi told investors that the 50 redundancies were made while the company restructured and reorganised, explaining that one studio was $50m below revenue projections, while two other studios saw “eight-figure misses”. However, it has not been clarified whether these are the studios that were struck by job losses.

Looking at the specific disappointments of the two aforementioned titles, de Masi attributed James Bond’s poor retention and low install numbers to “creative decisions made in partnership with the licensors to avoid firearms and classic shooter mechanics”.

Meanwhile, Katy Perry’s issues stemmed from “poor technical decisions” , “newly-hired team” and a lack of additional development time that was not provided “due to contractual restrictions as well as the team’s mediocre trajectory”.

However, de Masi remains optimistic for the future thanks to new partnerships signed with Taylor Swift and Gordon Ramsay. Glu Mobile is also considering options with both the James Bond and Katy Perry licences, but the CEO predicts new concepts will be more likely and more successful than updating last year’s troubled releases.

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