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Hot Five: EA layoffs, Unity shares falls amid restructure, and Rollic picks up Barbie licence

Our quick-fix roundup of the hottest stories on
Hot Five: EA layoffs, Unity shares falls amid restructure, and Rollic picks up Barbie licence

Start your week right with our quick take on the stories that are impacting the mobile industry right now.

To help get you primed and ready for another week in mobile gaming, we’ve curated the biggest stories you need to know from the last seven days.

1) EA lays off 5% of staff as it cuts licensing deals and closes offices

EA is closing offices and laying off 5% of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan to refocus on "strategic priorities and growth initiatives". This plan is set to cost between $125 million and $165 million and will include shutting down games and shifting away from any licensed IP development that "we do not believe will be successful in our changing industry".

The expense associated with laying off staff and other employee-related costs is estimated at up to $55 million, and follows previously announced intentions to close down MLB Tap Sports and F1 Mobile Racing.

2) Unity shares fall 18% despite revenue growth to $2.2 billion in 2023

Following the reveal of cost-cutting measures and $826.3 million in net losses, Unity shares fell by as much as 18.5% in extended trading last week. Even so, despite the 10.1% year-on-year increase in net losses, the company observed 57.2% yearly revenue growth to $2.19 billion.

Unity has confirmed that its restructuring resulted in 25% of its employees losing their jobs, and that office closures and the reduction in its workforce will help contribute to a $250 million reduction in annual non-GAAP operating expenses.

3) Mattel gets together with Zynga's Rollic for an all-new Barbie game on mobile

Toy giant Mattel has partnered with game developer and publisher Rollic to create a new "mass market" Barbie mobile game for release this year, leveraging the experience of the Instanbul-based Zynga subsidiary while riding on the success of the 2023 film.

While games like Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures, Barbie Magical Fashion and Barbie DreamHouse Tycoon on Roblox already exist, a post-Barbie movie game is that much more noteworthy as the film approaches $1.5 billion in earnings.

4) Ludo King surpasses 1 billion Play Store downloads in meteoric moment for Indian games industry

Gametion’s Ludo King has surpassed a landmark milestone for the Indian games industry, namely having become the region’s first mobile game to generate one billion downloads on the Play Store.

This major achievement follows shortly after Ludo King’s eighth anniversary and comes as the result of years of updates to expand Ludo King’s scope as a mobile title - including a six-player mode, seasonal events and an in-game Snakes & Ladders mode.

5) Playtika no longer up for sale as it pays share dividends and promises more M&A

Playtika is no longer looking for a sale and has announced it plans to spend as much as $1.2 billion on M&A over the next three years. The company cited ongoing uncertainty in Israel and Ukraine as reasons for the change in strategy.