Jobs blow for Cork as Big Fish Games to close operation in city

21 Aug 2013

Big Fish Games revealed this evening it is planning to close its offices at CityGate in Mahon, Cork, subject to a 30-day consultation, resulting in the potential loss of 89 jobs.

The job losses are understood to be part of a restructure at Big Fish Games globally and come despite 2013 being the company’s 11th straight year of record revenues, profitability and a positive cash flow (in the company’s own words).

“The pace of change in our industry requires us to invest in the areas where we are growing and position us for the future,” said CEO Paul Thelen.

Future Human

“We continue to embrace emerging new lines of business, many of which are enjoying success, particularly in free-to-play. Our casino business is just one example, with Big Fish Casino achieving an evergreen top 10 gross-sales ranking on the iPhone and iPad.

“However, along with good news there is sometimes a ‘but,’ and here is ours – to continue this momentum, we need to realign our resources by increasing investment in the areas that are growing or profitable and eliminating investment in areas that are not on a path to success.”

Thelen said the company had to make hard choices about its future and one of those choices was affected by the high costs of supporting streaming cloud delivery of premium games.

The company will instead focus more resources on its free-to-play casual and casino games and will invest in English, French, German and Japanese premium language games.

“As part of our decision to focus our premium business on the four largest languages, we are proposing to close our facility in Cork, subject to a 30-day consultation that we are entering into with employees,” Thelen said.

As well as the looming closure of the Cork office, the company is also letting go of 49 full-time employees at its operations in Seattle, Washington.

Cork City image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years