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Glu Mobile hit with layoffs as it transitions to a games-as-a-service company

Following tweets about layoffs hitting Glu Mobile's Kirkland, WA office — formerly Griptonite Games — Glu confirmed that it laid off approximately 68 employees to fund 80 new games-as-a-service hires and align its workforce towards "centralized GaaS functions," reports IGN.

A Glu spokesperson told Polygon that there are still several full development teams in the Kirkland office and the layoffs also affected Glu locations in San Francisco and Beijing. The spokesperson reiterated that the recent reductions are part of Glu's efforts to transition to a games-as-a-service company.

The company reduced "the year's starting headcount of 564 employees" by approximately 12 percent, Glu Mobile CEO Niccolo de Masi said in a prepared statement that was also sent to Polygon. Glu forecasts to end 2013 with a global workforce of 582 employees.

"We believe concentrating resources on fewer titles, with a greater centralized support infrastructure will accelerate revenue growth in Q4 2013 and beyond," de Masi said in the statement. "We made over 20 new ‘games-as-a-service' (GaaS) hires in Q1 and anticipate hiring at a similar rate throughout the year. Our goal is to shift headcount investment out of raw studio team volume and into our centralized GaaS functions. This rebalancing is expected to leave R&D costs approximately flat year over year."

Griptonite Games comprised of 200 employees when it was acquired by Glu Mobile in 2011. Mostly specializing licensed games, Griptonite Games developed an extensive amount of titles, including Shinobi for the Nintendo 3DS and multiplatform games Kung Fu Panda 2 and Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat.

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