Fruit Ninja Developer Halfbrick Slashes Half its Staff in Layoffs

It looks like another mobile studio is facing layoffs following the pursuit of new business strategies. Reports have appeared online stating that Australian development studio Halfbrick, the team known for mobile classic Fruit Ninja, has decided on a new business strategy that resulted in the dismissal of half its crew.

According to a report from Games Industry.biz, the mobile game development studio has laid off as many as 30 members of its staff, a number is made all the more significant considering that less than 30 employees reportedly now remain under the Halfbrick banner.

Additional details state that the decision to lay off the team was part of a broader decision to shift focus away from the development of new games and toward building on past successes. Reports indicate that the employees staying at Halfbrick will be working specifically and solely on new ventures based on both the Jetpack Joyride and Fruit Ninja brands.

This isn't the first time that Halfbrick has laid off employees as part of a shift in focus: in 2015, longtime designers Layton Hawkes and Ryan Langley were let go, leaving the studio without anyone to design new games. Luke Muscat, the former Creative Director for Halfbrick during the rise of Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, left even before that, going on to form a new studio known as Prettygreat.

All things considered, it seems that Halfbrick has been working away from creating new IP for years, and that these recent layoffs are the final piece in that new strategy. We don't yet know what this means for new games in existing company IP, nor is it clear what may happen to Raskulls Online, a puzzle title in the Raskulls style that was reportedly still in development.

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