Gameloft closes its Shenzhen branch when staff go out for dinner


Gameloft’s recent actions in closing its Shenzhen branch were as absurd as a black comedy. According to multiple sources of information, Gameloft announced shutdown of its Shenzhen branch on March 25th, and before that day, Gameloft made the last series of tests on IQ of its Shenzhen employees.

Test 1: Senior executives absent, employees required to make backup;

Test 2: HQ sent a notice of meeting on the next morning, demanding all staff to “attend on time”;

Test 3: Network in company broke down at 6:00 pm;

Test 4: Doors locked when staff came back from dinner.

The employees were too loyal to guess the possibility of shutdown until Test 4. Next day, their Vice President in Beijing declared via network video that Shenzhen branch is closed due to “poor achievements”, and dismissal agreements were signed with all of its 70-80 staff on the very day.

It is rumored that the major reason for closing was failure of a game called “Xiyou Shengtu” (西游圣徒), the only China-oriented product that can be found on Gameloft’s Chinese official website, covering most pieces of news apart from those on “Order & Chaos”.

“Xiyou Shengtu” is said to be started about 2 years ago, and was released in the end of last year, but performed poorly in both App Store and Android markets, the main reason is believed to be “lagging-behind in local market upon release”. Before release, this game went through a series of revisions required by local publishing channels in China, including Qihoo 360 and Baidu’s stores.

Another nearly completed game was also abandoned along with the shutdown, according to an insider.

Gameloft also dismissed its Shanghai team in April 2012, but still has branches in Beijing and Chengdu currently. Its Chengdu branch was set up in 2006 and has hundreds of employees, contributing greatly to the position of Chengdu as the “Fourth City of mobile games” after Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou in China.

At present, dozens of job offerings from Gameloft Shenzhen can still be found on 51job, the largest recruitment website in China. These offerings were released on March 24th, the day before shutdown, and are open for application till May 24th.

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