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Andreessen-Backed Game Developer TinyCo Lays Off 27 Employees

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TinyCo, an early mobile game developer that picked up funding from Andreessen Horowitz, is laying off 27 employees as it moves toward a new strategy. The company says it will outline its new moves in the coming few weeks.

“We’ve moved 10 steps forward on executing a specific strategy around how we build games and what games we build. To execute against this strategy, we decided to consolidate game development out of our SF office and reduce our staff,” said CEO Suleman Ali in a statement. “Laying people off sucks, especially since TinyCo has always been a breeding ground for great friendships. We’ll provide more updates, including a game launch, in the near future.”

According to a source, they’ve laid off employees based both in San Francisco and in Argentina.

TinyCo is one of a handful of early mobile game developers that built casual simulation games on iOS and Android. They were pursuing a strategy that was kind of like what Zynga did to build out presence on the Facebook platform.

TinyCo built casual games around proven concepts like Tiny Chef, a restaurant sim, or Tiny Monsters, where players would raise baby monsters. Early on, they had multiple top-grossing titles in the top 100 — Tiny Monsters, for example, held onto a top-grossing spot in the top 100 U.S. iPhone games for more than six months last year. But they haven’t held on as strongly this year, with their top grossing title being the #272 ranked VIP Poker, according to App Annie.

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Many of the other companies that blew up around that time in 2011 like Pocket Gems and Storm8 have since been eclipsed by studios like Supercell, which just sold a majority stake to Softbank and GungHo for $1.53 billion, or Candy Crush-maker King and Kabam, which successfully transitioned from Facebook to mobile platforms. Pocket Gems still has three top-grossing titles in the top 100 on the iPhone in the U.S., however, and Storm8 holds two top 100 grossing titles on Google Play.