FanDuel, the largest operator of daily fantasy sports services have dismissed 55 members of staff from their Orlando, Florida team, in a massive restructure of services.
FanDuel, founded in 2009, has seen a massive increase in popularity over the last seven years; they have recently decided to reduce investments for development of new content and focus on their established avenues; as a result 55 members of the Florida team have lost their jobs. Amongst the staff members, were many of the 40 sports game developers that were hired in May 2015, when Zynga, in a similar restructure reduced its staff by 18%.
Just a strategy change?
A spokesperson from FanDuel mentioned that the reduction in headcount only reflects on the change of focus in the company’s strategy; they will continue to hire qualified people for other jobs. The base in Florida will be used to build and develop a customer service operations centre. Although the company has decided not to finance new developments they are keen to maintain their core services.
Mike Taramykin, former vice president at Zynga led the 40 developers in question to form the team in Orlando. Taramykin was also made executive vice president of products at FanDuel as part of the deal; it is yet to be disclosed if he will be staying with the fantasy sports giant.
A spokesperson at FanDuel further commented that the Orlando team was expanded last year, assigning a group of developers specifically to research and develop ancillary games and applications; however, as funding for that venture has been expurgated, such a large team is no longer required. Many of the developers have been redirected towards core services and complimentary products while others are being aided with reemployment assistance.
The growth in in the Orlando team coincided with FanDuel’s acquisition of Fantasy Sports site AlphaDraft and an UK app development company Kotikan.
FanDuel, like its competitor DraftKings, is facing legal uncertainty in the USA. They are locked in a lawsuit with Eric Schneiderman , attorney general of New York state, who claims that the site is involved in illegal gambling and should not be allowed to operate in New York, they should return all revenues earned in the state and pay a fine for their actions. FanDuel also ceased operations in Nevada once the Nevada Gaming Commission classified[sc:fanduel]