Infogrames has cut around 60% of its European workforce according to a report in French newspaper Les Echos. After posting disappointing financials last month, Infogrames was forced to re-evaluate its position and move to save as much as E25 million a year.
This saving has been brought about by drastic widespread job cuts, with as many as 280 French staff to be shown the door, and as many as 200 more across Germany and the UK. Infogrames also plans to cut its European sites from seven to five, and more job cuts are expected as a result.
Infogrames has already cut around 150 jobs in Europe over the past year, even axing popular development studios including UK-based Microprose, makers of the Grand Prix series of videogames.
Last Friday Infogrames shares rose dramatically on the back of the then-rumoured cuts, sitting pretty up 20% at E2.64, even outperforming domestic rival Ubi Soft, although shares were trading at just over two euros in Paris this morning.
Infogrames has been a constant takeover target over the last few months in light of its financial situation. Despite the company’s apparent desire to remain independent, rumours that publishing behemoth Electronic Arts, Sega and even Microsoft were interested have bolstered share performance.
But analysts are not confident in Infogrames ability to recover without outside intervention. With shares that have slumped 79% this year and mounting debt concerns, not to mention falling demand for its games software, analysts are saying that the company has been too slow to react. It would be a huge restructuring, but it’s happening too late, ETC analyst Xavier Courtois told Reuters on Friday.
Infogrames releases three games this Friday; Driver 2 Advance for Nintendo’s GameBoy Advance handheld, Taz Wanted for Nintendo GameCube, and the long-awaited PC multiplayer game Unreal Tournament 2003. Elsewhere this month, it is due to release games based on the expensive Terminator license, as well as two other GameBoy Advance titles.