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Playtika lays off 610 employees and closes three online game titles as part of broader restructuring • TechCrunch

Playtika lays off 610 employees and closes three online game titles as part of broader restructuring • TechCrunch

Playtika lays off 610 employees and closes three online game titles as part of broader restructuring • TechCrunch

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Playtika, the Israeli tech company that has made a name for itself with a series of wildly successful gambling and online games with hundreds of millions of players, is leveling the final swing of the layoff pendulum. The company confirmed today that it is laying off 15% of its workforce. Playtika currently employs 4,100 people, so the layoffs will affect 615 people across the company’s global footprint in Europe, Israel and the United States.

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A memo sent to employees seen by TechCrunch notes that three titles will also be cut as they seek to streamline costs across the board. We understand these will be “MergeStories”, “DiceLife” and “Ghost Detective”. We also understand that the company will also offer alternative roles to some of the employees affected by the cuts. Playtika’s most popular titles, such as “Best Fiends”, have amassed at least 100 million users each.

“Playtika’s success is rooted in our agility, efficiency, creativity, and obsession with delivering the most entertaining forms of mobile entertainment to our players,” CEO Robert Antokol told TechCrunch in an email responding to concerns. questions about cuts. “We are constantly evaluating our strategic plans taking into account many factors, including the economic environment. We believe the structure announced today further builds on our core strengths of delivering superior gaming experiences and moving mobile games into global franchises in pursuit of growth. Saying goodbye to talented colleagues and friends is difficult. They will always be part of Playtika’s rich history and form the basis of our bright future as we build on our reputation for technological power and entertainment.

The layoffs have been rumored since last week in the Israeli press – although the actual numbers are higher than the 500 announced.

Playtika – listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange – had a particularly difficult year in what has been a difficult time for the technology sector as a whole.

The company was among the wave of companies that went public last year, enjoying a huge surge in usage among pandemic consumers locked at home and staying away from in-person social situations.

When it went public in June 2021, it debuted with a price per share of $27 and a valuation of over $11 billion to raise nearly $1.9 billion, before climbing to a market capitalization. market of over $14 billion on its first day of trading. A few months later, he followed that up with a big step into “design entertainment”, buying home decor game maker Reworks from Finland for $400 million, in cash.

But gaming has long been a business of sharp ups and downs, with titles very much subject to user tastes and no real guarantee that anything developed next will be as successful as the previous effort. Combine that with the current general depression in tech stocks, and Playtika has seen massive declines. Currently, its market cap (pre-market Dec. 12) stands at $3.1 billion, with the stock priced at $8.61/share as of Friday’s market close.

The company also missed its earnings estimates last quarter. Although third-quarter revenue increased slightly to $647.8 million from $635.9 million in the same quarter a year ago, net profit fell to $68.2 million from $80.5 million. dollars in the third quarter of 2021.

And last week one of its shareholders, Joffre Capital, pulled out of a deal to take a majority stake in the company after disputes over governance. Although this was not mentioned in the memo sent to employees, it likely had an impact on the company’s financial planning going forward.

It’s not over yet, but online gambling is going to take a lot more lives in the months to come.

Playtika itself had already laid off 250 workers in May; Electronic Arts is reportedly looking for a buyer; Unity laid off around 200 people earlier this year, and some believe this is just the beginning.

Tech

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