Daily fantasy sports (DFS) operator FanDuel has significantly reduced the headcount in its Florida office as it looks to cut investment in new content to focus on its core offering.
A total of 55 staff will lose their jobs as a result, with its Florida base being used to build out the customer service operations, a FanDuel spokesperson said. The company will continue hiring for select roles throughout the company.
The layoffs mark a swift shift in focus for the Florida base, with the company establishing its Orlando office in May last year by hiring 40 sports games developers laid off in a round of restructuring by Zynga that same month.
These developers were previously employed by EA Sports, Electronic Arts’ sports development studio, and led by Mike Taramykin, who was named executive vice president of FanDuel as part of the deal. It is unclear whether Taramykin, who was based in Florida, will remain with the DFS operator.
FanDuel had tasked these developers with working on new products and complementary services to its core offering, with investment in such products now being reduced.
“We did have a group of developers in the Orlando office that were focused on research and development for ancillary games and applications that we will not be investing in moving forward,” FanDuel’s spokesperson said. “We are helping the individuals in these roles find employment elsewhere and are grateful for the work they did at FanDuel.”
The hiring of the former Zynga team came as the company made a number of acquisitions last year in order to strengthen and diversify its products and technology, purchasing fantasy eSports platform AlphaDraft and Edinburgh-based app developer Kotikan.
FanDuel faces continued uncertainty over the legality of its product in a number of US states such as New York, where it faces a court showdown with the State Attorney General later this year, and Nevada, from which it has withdrawn after being ordered to secure a licence.
However the spokesperson noted that despite such uncertainty, it had continued to grow in the previous year.
“In 2015, we saw continued growth with more than six million users registering for FanDuel and our largest NFL season to date, despite regulatory pressure,” said the spokesperson.