Halfbrick Makes Half Their Staff Redundant

Halfbrick have made up to half of their staff redundant in a move to focus the studio on its two most successful games: Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride.

According to CNET, Halfbrick made up to 30 of their staff redundant on Monday with more redundancies looming on the horizon. These redundancies amount to approximately half of the current team.

Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride were massive successes. It feels like everyone with a functioning smartphone has played them at one point or another. These games put Halfbrick on the map as one of Australia's gaming success stories.

Then the world moved on.

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Attempt after attempt was made to try and recreate the success of its earlier titles but by 2015 Halfbrick's later games hadn't caught on and Halfbrick made its design staff redundant.

The staff that remain after the latest redundancies will reportedly focus on getting the most out of the studio's two biggest successes: Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride. It always comes back to Fruit Ninja.

We have reached out to Halfbrick for comment and have not heard back from them at the time of publication.

[CNET]


Comments

    Looks like they're gonna try to pull an Activision or EA and milk it for everything. Not sure what they're hoping to get out of JPJR and Fruit Ninja since people have moved on from them. I feel sorry for the staff that got laid off.

    I can see Halfbrick closing if they don't try to find an alternative that doesn't involve milking 7+ year old games.

      I thought the industry was all about milking 7+ year old games these days given how many remakes, remasters, ports and re-releases we're getting.

      Last edited 13/03/18 4:24 pm

      "Looks like they're gonna try to pull an Activision or EA and milk it for everything."

      What an awfully cynical world we live in. The article says they haven't had another hit like their main two titles and no-one knows the magic formula for capturing the interests of a paying public... this is literally Halfbrick fighting to survive. Yes, it's awful that people lost their jobs, but if that decision hadn't been made then EVERYONE would have lost their job.

      You have no idea what their financial position is, or what they've done to try and innovate their way out of their current spot.

      Kotaku needs to start up a Business 101 series to educate their readers.

        You have no idea what their financial position is, or what they've done to try and innovate their way out of their current spot.
        Well, we do know that it isn't working.

        The article states that they're looking to "get the most" out of the only two games that the public at large cared about, so clearly they are going back to old ground to 'innovate' their way out of it. I don't know why we shouldn't see that as a cynical attempt to milk past glory.

        The article links to a previous article on Halfbrick. They lost their soul years ago in a cynical attempt to recreate the financial success of fruit ninja and JPJR. They stopped caring about creativity and making great games because that doesn't make money in mobile. Formulaic garbage with Arnold Schwarzenegger ads and manipulative money grubbing tactics are considered successful games these days.

        No. Them trying to survive is going off in another direction.

        They went into a casual mobile games market early, and secured 2 hits that have brought in their cash-flow. Now that every man and his dog is in casual mobile games they should have stopped after two failures and realised it's not working. Maybe instead they target a PC market for a title, or try to secure something on the Nintendo Switch.

        When they fired a large part of their team, as mentioned in the article linked, they lost a lot of the creative power that would have helped them to potentially make another hit.

      My kids (7 and 5) just discovered Fruit Ninja last week. There's an entire new generation out there ready to be milked :)

    All the original people left to set up something new right? I don't recall their names.... Phil someone? Beardy guy? Kotaku ran a few articles a while back about the jerk who was running the show and what a crappy environment it had become.

    The gaming industry has shown us time and again that the name of the studio means jack shit - it's the people behind it.

    I thought they turned into publishing as their last title was with developer Joho.
    They’ll continue to make money with their old titles and its in-app-purchasing system, but yeah, it’s old titles.

    Their ad money would still be rolling in tho, right?

    Honestly this is why I don't think the Australian government injecting money into Australian indies is really going to accomplish anything. I can just see most of the money going to studios like Halfbrick who are trying to get into that mobile game money milking machine. Halfbrick might've been great when it was Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, but they clearly lack the capacity to make novelties anymore and capture the market. I'd hate for tax dollars to get invested in studios churning out titles hoping to hit the next Flappy Bird or microtransaction nightmare.

    It's sad for the people who have just lost their jobs, but that's what happens if your studio doesn't produce anything that people want to play.

    I think this is just the nature of mobile games. You dont have the longevity like AAA and Indie games on more traditional platforms.

    so they had 60 staff? wow talk about bloated.

    its sad ppl are losing their jobs but the novelty of their games wore off along time ago

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