Ex-Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Online Gaming Giant KixEye Axes 25% Staff

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Gaming Giant KixEye which had once ruled Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and other online gaming bastions, appears to have suddenly chosen to restructure itself. The unexpected reorganization move has resulted in retrenchment of over 100 employees.

As news of the layoffs made headlines on Tuesday, Kixeye, based in San Francisco, has become the eye of the storm. Nearly 25% of the staff at Kixeye appears to have been laid-off. Many of the castaways’ include entire teams of the engineering section.

Kixeye was formed in 2007 and over time has several popular online games in the industry- Backyard Monsters, Battle Pirates, War Commander as well as Backyard Monsters: Unleashed.

Kixeye games are typically for competitive players, with focus on ‘fidelity’ twinned with ‘accessibility,’ for online innovation as well as mobile ‘experiences.’

KixEye loyal Players Lose out on the Fun

The games are largely based on ‘raids,’ allowing players’ unique winning experience. However, in recent times the timing of the raids (moving it to monthly-basis from it bi-yearly) has not been well received. Rather than challenge-based wins, big-time players are able to fund and own the top-prize fleet as serious players can ‘invest’ in raids via repairs.

Further, at the center of discontent is the cost of these raids. As $50 per repair or a $500 to $1000 for big coin-owners bring ownership of the best fleet in the game, the merit of these games have been eroded, feel many.

Loyal Kixeye game players opine that recent gaming strategies introduced, such as nearly-weekly-raids schedules removed the fun from the games.
While sudden changes in the online gaming industry is no longer a surprise, the move to axe over 25% of the staff, including entire development-engineering team is definitely unexpected.

However, not all is lost for those laid-off. For given the ‘gaming spirit’ of ex-Kixeye developers, competitors are waiting to hire! Kixeye’s loss could well be more than lesser profits in the near future, if the ex-employees have their way at competitors!

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Pushpa Naresh
Pushpa Naresh has done MBA (Finance) and an avid market tracker. She is a stock market analyst who closely tracks US markets along with other global markets like India. She has been expressing her views about markets and also advises various clients.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. when ceo’s are in it just for a quick buck they will eventually lose everything will Harbin and obama rival each other in being arrogant greedy self centered assholes

  2. Kixeye is burning to the ground. Customer service is horrible. Paying customers are treated with contempt by Kixeye. Let it burn to the ground.

  3. This is no surprise at all. As a dedicated player of War Commander playing for 4 years I have predicting the demise of the company in general for months. Customer dis satisfaction has risen 250% over the last year due to updates that fail to be tested before implementation and are designed to stifle the progress of players, and lighten the load on servers. Greed has played a massive part of this downfall as the company introduces updates that require much more time, money and attention to accomplish. I also agree with Jeffry on the player vs player aspect of the game. If you do not have at least $100 to spend every week on repairing damaged platoons you have no chance in player vs player wars. Forum threads on the company website continue to be inundated with players screaming for fixes and tighter measures for hackers and cheaters, and currently players that do cheat boast of the ability to continue cheating after returning from temporary suspends because they threaten the company to stop paying money for their games. Presently the rate of new players that sign up for war commander is being stifled by the influx of players leaving the game to play more customer friendly games.Today i write this reply as Kixeye has taken War Commander off line to “fix” bugs that occurred on the last upgrade. This is the typical routine when upgrades are pushed through from the company. Hopefully with the restructure of the organization the upper management can take their heads out of their asses and focus on the talent it takes to make stable gaming environment that has balance and is fair to all players not just those that spend the most money. One of the greatest benefits to playing this game for me and being so familiar with Kixeye as a company is that it will serve as a perfect example for my thesis paper in business management on how company’s fail even though they are industry innovators and leaders at concept and start up.

  4. I’ve been playing War Commander for almost 3 years. The first 1.5 years it was as good of a game as it could have ever been. What happened was at that time anyone could play and have fun without spending a fortune. Now we have 1 event every month, we have a base challenge every week, we have to collect massive amounts of resources which are very monotonous then we to get to what most want to do you have want to fight. It cost 50 hours+ of repair to attack a player so you can either wait 2 days or pay around $10 to repair and attack someone else. What this has promoted is a LOT of players especially ones in foreign nations started cheating with Cheat Engine and other programs. Kixeye had a hard time detecting this and finally got decent at that but once they were decent at recognizing it they only suspended the account rather then banning because the player was spending a little money or whatever. So massive repair bills and massive cheating, that is what is bringing Kixeye down, massive bills to upgrade units as well.

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