Dome has reported that game maker Digital Chocolate will shut down its Helsinki office. Digital Chocolate has historically been one of the big names in Helsinki’s gaming scene, but since Rovio and Supercell has popped up, the company hasn’t introduced new games on Facebook or Mobile that have really broken through by international standards, perhaps leading to this unit’s closure. Outside of their headquarters in San Mateo, the company also has offices in Barcelona and Bangalore.
Looking back you can see Digital Chocolate bet big on the Facebook platform, delaying their entry into the mobile free to play market where all the money seems to be at the moment. It might not have been the safest bet, as shown by Zynga, which also bet big on Facebook and has seen share prices plummet since the end of the Facebook boom.
I can also speculate on management flexibility at Digital Chocolate, just from the fact that Supercell’s Ilkka Paananen came out of Digital Chocolate and started his own company named after its new radical free management structure. I imagine that kind of approach didn’t come out of a vacuum.
The rumor in Helsinki is that Digital Chocolate looking for a buyer, and we’ve heard names like Rovio thrown around, but everything is unsubstantiated. According to Dome, the employees have received word that their contracts are ending. A buyer will have to move quickly, because gaming talent gets snatched up quickly in Helsinki.