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The creator of Fruit Ninja just made half its team redundant

It was one of mobile gaming's earliest runaway success stories but now Halfbrick, the creator of Fruit Ninja, is making half its existing staff redundant.

Eye Tribe (Fruit Ninja game)
The Eye Tribe

Released in April 2010, Halfbrick's Fruit Ninja was one of mobile gaming's earliest success stories. The app has been downloaded over 1 billion times and has long been celebrated as a key milestone for Australia's local games industry. 

But times have been difficult as of late. In 2015, Halfbrick made all of its remaining design staff redundant and on Monday, according to multiple separate sources, Halfbrick made up to 30 staff members redundant. A number that amounts to roughly half of its remaining head count.

After a tremendous amount of success with free-to-play mobile games like Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, Halfbrick has been struggling to replicate those successes. A company-wide shift was created to move from creating new IP to maximising opportunities for those two existing brands. These new redundancies are reportedly part of this plan.

Halfbrick closed its Sydney satellite office in July 2016, but maintains an office in Spain. Sources speaking anonymously to CNET estimate fewer than 30 employees remain at Halfbrick's main office in Brisbane. At one point the Brisbane office staffed 70 full-time employees, 100 globally. 

The focus for Halfbrick now is Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride. Apparently the new 30-man studio is tasked with focusing exclusively on live ops for those two intellectual properties.

We reached out to Halfbrick for comment, but have yet to hear back.