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SEA shuts projects and lays off staff in Garena unit

This comes in the wake of a $1 billion quarterly loss

SEA shuts projects and lays off staff in Garena unit

SEA is shutting projects and putting the brakes on Booyah!, its livestreaming platform, following a quarterly loss of almost $1 billion, Reuters reports.

As a result of this decision, employees have been told that staff across the livestreaming business and development arm will be cut.

Staff at Booyah! were told that they would be made redundant and that the app would no longer be updated, with one source stating that this sees 30-40 people let go.

Some of the biggest projects at the company’s development arm, SEA Labs, have been shuttered as the company looks to cut costs and boost profitability. This includes public cloud and blockchain projects.
A spokesperson for the company told Reuters that SEA had “made some changes to improve efficiency in our operations that impact a number of roles.”

However, the spokesperson declined to confirm how many jobs had been lost.

SEA has seen a 72 per cent drop in its share price this year, following a boom experienced during the pandemic. The company’s gaming wing, Garena, has been particularly affected, taking a significant hit due to government bans in India and seeing a 39 per cent decline in quarterly paying users. Shares fell a further 14 per cent in August, following a greater than expected reported loss in the second quarter.

In an effort to mitigate the damage, SEA cut jobs across Shopee, its e-commerce division, in June, with employees affected in Southeast Asia, Mexico, and Latin America.

Despite the downturn, the company continues to see massive success from its flagship title, Free Fire, which ranked third highest by average monthly active users on the Google Play store, and was the highest grossing game of Latin America and Southeast Asia for the twelfth consecutive quarter.

Despite a tumultuous year, we listed Garena as number 9 on our list of the top 50 mobile game makers of 2022.

Staff Writer

Lewis Rees is a journalist, author, and escape room enthusiast based in South Wales. He got his degree in Film and Video from the University of Glamorgan. He's been a gamer all his life.