Slide, the online entertainment company founded by Max Levchin (who we just interviewed in Davos), has decided to stop development on two of its social games, Slide SuperPocus and Top Fish, and will be laying off “less than 10%” of its employees in the process. The company had around 40 employees working on the two games, some of whom will be reassigned to work on other projects. Prior to the layoffs, Slide had around 137 employees.
This is a somewhat surprising move, because Slide only launched the two Facebook applications last fall. The magic-themed SuperPocus launched in October, and Top Fish, a virtual aquarium app, launched in early November. Both games were designed to turn into virtual economies that revolved around virtual gifts. Clearly Slide has a ‘sink-or-swim’ attitude with regard to its applications, and it’s ready to cut its losses quickly. Slide VP of Strategy and Business Development Keith Rabois says that the company is continuously evaluating its games based on their growth, user retention, and monetization, and that the two games weren’t reaching their goals. Rabois says that the company intends to release a new project later this month.
Slide has dabbled in quite a few areas related to social gaming and online communities over the years. It is behind some of Facebook’s most popular games, as well as other entertaining apps like SuperPoke. The company used to generate most of its revenue through advertising, but the majority of its income now comes from virtual goods.