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Bigpoint lays off 120 employees, ends US game development

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Free-to-play game publisher Bigpoint, known for browser-based games like Battlestar Galactica Online and massively multiplayer role-playing game Drakensang Online, laid off 80 employees in Germany and more than 40 in San Francisco, according to a report from GamesIndustry International.

CEO Heiko Hubertz says he'll be leaving his current role to become executive chairman of Bigpoint's supervisory board, but says the layoffs and his job change are unrelated. Cuts at the company will not affect current games or future game development, according to Hubertz.

Hubertz says in an interview with GamesIndustry International that developing games in the United States is "not really the most efficient way for us at the moment." Bigpoint's San Francisco-based office was established in 2010 to focus on product development and marketing.

"The games that we have developed in the last two years haven't been that successful, and the San Francisco area and Bay Area is quite a competitive market," he says, adding that San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities in the U.S.

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