Mobile game jobs weekly: Rovio closes London studio, new PocketGamer.biz writers, and Niantic job openings

Mobile game jobs weekly: Rovio closes London studio, new PocketGamer.biz writers, and Niantic job openings

Welcome to our new regular weekly article where we round-up the week's big movers and shakers in the mobile games industry.

We’ll also be linking to handy jobs-related articles and identifying the top job opportunities in the sector.

Check out last week's big movers and vacancies here.

Movers, shakers and job opportunities

Don’t forget you can check out our official jobs board for vacancies in the mobile games business. We’ve also published a list of companies currently hiring, which we update each month, available right here.

In this article you'll find:

Got jobs news you’d like to share? Contact PocketGamer.biz Senior Editor Craig Chapple at craig.chapple@steelmedia.co.uk.

Click here to view the list »
  • 1 The movers and shakers

    Check out this week's movers and shakers in the mobile games industry right here.

    Got a new hire we should cover? Get in touch with our senior editor at craig.chapple@steelmedia.co.uk.

    Click on the links to get the full story (where applicable).

    Two new staff writers for PocketGamer.biz as Ric Cowley is named editor of PocketGamer.com

    We’ve got some exciting news to share at Steel Media: we’ve hired two new staff writers!

    Iain Harris has joined the PocketGamer.biz team full-time to write the breaking news and big interviews all about the mobile games business. He has previously written for publications such as Esports News UK, VG247, Game Guiders, Edinburgh Evening News and others.

    Louise Saul will write articles for PocketGamer.biz, as well as our other B2B sites that include PCGamesInsider.biz, InfluencerUpdate.biz, TheVirtualReport.biz and our exciting new website set to launch very soon!

    She already has a wealth of journalism experience writing for media such as Vice, Comic Book Resources, Nintendo Life, MyM Magazine and Technology Networks.

    PocketGamer.biz deputy editor Ric Cowley (main image, centre) meanwhile has been promoted to the editor of our consumer site PocketGamer.com. He’ll be leading the editorial direction there and shepherding in a new-look for the website set to launch later this year.


    Changes at Angry Birds developer as Rovio London closes and head of games Wilhelm Taht departs

    Angry Birds developer Rovio has shut down its new London studio just over a year after it opened.

    The UK branch, headed up by Mark Sorrell, was revealed during Pocket Gamer Connects london 2017 and had been working on a brand new massively multiplayer IP.

    However following a recent profit warning for the company the studio has now been closed in a decision that will result in seven job losses.

    As part of wider changes at the company, Rovio’s head of games Wilhelm Taht has left his position with immediate effect due to “personal reasons”. He had been with the company for over three years and spearheaded the company's pivot to free-to-play.

    CEO Kati Levoranta will temporarily take on the role following Taht’s departure.


    UK studio Hutch Games continues to expand with three new recruits

    Growing London-based Top Drives developer Hutch Games has made a trio of new hires across a range of professions.

    Chiao-Hsien Lin (below image, right) has joined the studio as community specialist, where she’ll be responsible for taking technical queries from players about their game experience and bugs. Lin has previously worked at games companies such as Space Ape and G5 Entertainment.

    Esther Hong (below image, centre) has been hired as a UI artist, working on new projects while also supporting titles already live. Hong holds an animation degree and has spent five years working on the South Korea games industry at companies such as developer and publisher Zepetto.

    Evyatar Amitay (above image, left) meanwhile has been recruited as a gameplay programmer to work on an unannounced title. Amitay joins from another London games company, Improbable, where he worked on SpatialOS. Other credits include Fractured Space developer Edge Case Games and Fable Fortune publisher Mediatonic.


    Pearl's Peril developer Wooga lays off 30 staff as it refocuses on story-driven casual games

    Berlin-based developer Wooga has laid off 30 staff as part of new plans to focus on story-driven casual games.

    The move comes just over a year after the studio restructured to focus on three distinct areas of casual games: puzzle, hidden object and casual simulation. At the time this resulted in 40 job losses.

    Now the company is narrowing its goals once again, this time with a focus on story-driven casual titles where it hopes to become the market leader.

    To this end, the company is dropping its in-house studio structure, where each ‘studio’ was responsible for the entire dev cycle of a particular genre.

    Now it aims to organise its teams around lifecycles, meaning the different phases of development such as pre-released and live operations will be largely handled by different staff.

  • 2 The mobile game job vacancies

    Here we feature a select few vacancies from our jobs board and the hottest job openings elsewhere around the industry.

    A Thinking Ape

    Vancouver-based developer A Thinking Ape has a trio of vacancies open right now, which include:

    3D Generalist

    Product Designer

    Software Development Engineer



    Angry Birds and Battle Bay developer Rovio is hiring across a number of roles, including:

    Cloud Enginer - Espoo, Finland

    Product Manager (Slingshot Studio) - Espoo, Finland

    Art Director (Puzzle Studio) - Espoo. Finland

    Senior Game Designer (Puzzle Studio) - Espoo, Finland

    Senior Game Programmer (Puzzle Studio) - Espoo, Finland



    Canada-based developer Playwing has also listed a number of vacancies on our jobs board, including:

    Lead 3D Environment Artist

    Technical Arist

    Producer Manager

    Lead Programmer

    Level Designer


    More jobs highlights

    Senior 3D Artist (BoomBit Games) - Gdansk, Poland

    3D Lead Artist (Glass Egg) - Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

    Programmers- Unity/C#/Python in London (The Secret Police) - London, UK

    Audience Development Editor (Steel Media) - London, UK

    User Acquisition Expert (Ubisoft) - Paris, France or London, UK


    Hot vacancies around the mobile games industry

    Zynga gave the greenlight to a full launch of India-focused mobile game Rangoli Rekha: Color Match release this week. As the publisher targets growth in the burgeoning market, it's hiring a game designer in Bangalore.

    Interested in monetisation and looking to get a start in games? Hamburg-based developer Goodgame Studios is hiring a 'working student' in monetisation, where successful applicants will assist with data analysis, data-driven decision making and summarising results.

    Finland studio Small Giant Games has been in the headlines recently after picking up $41 million in funding. The studio currently has a vacancy for a lead game designer.

    Cambridge-based Lightseekers developer PlayFusion specialises in toys-to-life and AR projects, and its currenty got a vacancy open for marketing manager - publishing.

    London-based Hungry Shark developer Future Games of London - owned by Ubisoft - is on the hunt for a technical director (programming).

  • 3 The week's big recruiters

    Here we link to a selection of the current big recruiters in the mobile games space.

    Know of some hot job opportunities? Email craig.chapple@steelmedia.co.uk.


    You may have heard of games like Pokemon Go and the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. As developer Niantic continues to expand at a rate of knots, it's opened up 29 positions across the US, Japan and Germany.

    Next Games

    The Finnish developer behind The Walking Dead: No Man's Land and upcoming AR title The Walking Dead: Our World has 16 jobs available right now and it's also taking open applications to boot.


    The Top Eleven studio, based in Belgrade, Serbia, has 17 openings across professions such as art, engineering, community, marketing, game design and HR.

    Sybo Games

    The Danish outfit responsible for hit mobile title Subway Surfers has 14 job vacancies open across art, design, production, marketing, game engineering and backend engineering roles.

    Peak Games

    Turkey's Peak Games, which has developed hit mobile titles such as Toy Blast and Toon Blast, has 10 positions open at the studio.

  • 4 Jobs around the games industry

    Still here? Well while we've got you, here you can find jobs news from around the rest of the games industry, courtesy of our sister-sites PCGamesInsider.biz, InflunecerUpdate.biz and TheVirtualReport.biz.

    Click on the links to get the full story.

    Crytek CEO and founder Cevat Yerli steps down

    There are some big changes at the top of game maker Crytek.

    The firm has revealed that Cevat Yerli is stepping down from the CEO position, but will continue to serve as a strategic shareholder.

    The top job will now be shared by his brothers Avni Yerli and Faruk Yerli.

    The brothers Yerli founded Crytek back in 1999.


    Mobile streaming outfit Mobcrush recruits ex-Studio 71 COO Phil Ranta as head of creators

    Mobile livestreaming platform Mobcrush has hired ex-Studio 71 COO Phil Ranta as its new head of creators, Tubefilter reports.

    One of the main focuses of his role at Mobcrush will be to provide the link between the platforms entertainers and various brands.

    Ranta has held various roles in the industry and as well as working with Studio 71, his other former employers include Fullscreen and Viva! Vision.


    Football Manager firm Sports Interactive hires Disney vet Matt Carroll as first chief operating officer

    The London-based studio behind the blockbuster Football Manager franchise has picked up its first chief operating office as the developer restructures.

    As reported by GamesIndustry.biz, the new COO is Disney alum Matt Carroll.

    It's a role that the studio sees as necessary given how much the Football Manager outfit has grown since its purchase by Sega back in 2006.

    Meanwhile, 19-year Sports Interactive veteran Marc Duffy has been promoted to production director. Other job changes are forthcoming as the studio prepares to move to new digs in April.

Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of PocketGamer.biz and InfluencerUpdate.biz. He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.


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