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Garena reportedly presses pause on game livestream platform, cuts jobs

Garena reportedly presses pause on game livestream platform, cuts jobs

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Sea Group's gaming arm, Garena, is reportedly pressing pause on its game livestream platform and axing projects at its development unit Sea Labs, Reuters said, adding that this comes after it posted a US$1 billion quarterly loss. Garena is also said to be making job cuts too, with about 30 to 40 jobs at its game livestream and community app, Booyah!, potentially being redundant.

Meanwhile, Sea Labs is shutting down what Reuters said is "some of its biggest experimental projects", including blockchain and public cloud projects, and making job cuts as well. Citing its source, Reuters said the group had axed "some major projects" and made "dozens of people" redundant as part of its plan to increase profitability. MARKETING-INTERACTIVE has reached out to Sea for comment.

Meanwhile, Sea's spokesperson told Reuters that changes have been made at th group to "improve efficiency in [its] operations that impact a number of roles". The group will also focus on the "long-term strength of [its] ecosystem", Reuters said.

Sea's momentum has faltered in recent months after it experienced strong growth during the pandemic. According to Reuters, its setbacks resulted in more than a 72% dip in its share price so far in 2022. While Garena's Free Fire game continued to maintain global rankings in user and grossing metrics, Garena posted an adjusted EBITDA of US$333.6 million during the second quarter of 2022, compared to US$740.9 million during the same period last year.

Overall, Sea posted a total net loss of US$931.2 million during the second quarter and also suspended its eCommerce forecast for 2022 as part of its efforts to adapt to increasing macro uncertainties. The group's eCommerce unit recently cancelled job offers due to adjustments on hiring plans. This affected tech roles in Singapore and China and one prospective employee was unfortunately told shortly after he landed in Singapore. The eCommerce company will offer a month's worth of salary to impacted individuals, where relevant, and will reimburse them for other expenses during their travel to Singapore, including airfare and hotel stays.

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