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Layoffs Hit ‘Walking Dead’ Dev Next Games as Part of Reorganization

Next Games announced Friday that it will implement a “new organizational structure” which will result in about two dozen layoffs, according to a press release.

Next Games, the developer behind mobile games “The Walking Dead: Our World” and “The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land,” held consultation proceedings last month in order to review costs and streamline operations.

Part of the effort to save costs means cutting several positions, while also hiring new talent for certain roles.

“As a result of the consultation proceedings, which commenced on 17 January 2019, the company is now implementing a new organizational structure with the aim of decreasing time-to market for its upcoming products, increasing performance as well as improving its product development process,” the press release stated. “As a result of the measures taken as part of the program, the company scales down the number of staff from 143 at the end of year 2018, to 117 employees during the first half of 2019. While some positions will cease to exist in the organization as part of the change, the company is also looking to hire key talent for certain specific positions during the first half of 2019.”

In addition, the continued cost review program is expected to save Next Games between 4 and 8 million euros in 2019.

Next Games’ mobile AR title “The Walking Dead: Our World” cleared $8 million USD in worldwide revenue within two months of its release.

The same day as the layoffs news hit, it was announced that Emmi Kuusikko stepped down from her role at Next Games as chief product officer to “pursue new challenges” according to another press release on Friday.

“I am grateful for the past [one and a half] years with Next Games,” Kuusikko stated. “It’s a privilege to have had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s biggest entertainment brands translating them into mobile games. The Next Games team is talented and passionate, and I will cherish the experience while it’s time for me to move on. I want to thank the Next Games Management team and Board of Directors, and especially the game teams for the amazing journey. I am confident the company is on a good path to build great games for players to enjoy for years to come.”

In other video game industry news, Activision Blizzard announced layoffs impacting nearly 800 employees on Tuesday, despite CEO Bobby Kotick saying 2018’s financial results were the best in the company’s history.

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