Free Fire Developer Sea Said to Halt Plans for Game Livestream Platform, Cut Jobs at Garena Unit: Report

Sea has reportedly cut jobs at its a livestream app that is part of its gaming unit Garena. The Singapore-based firm has halt its plans for a game livestream platform, which will no longer be updated, according to a report. It is also reportedly planning on shutting down some of the company’s projects related to blockchain and the cloud at its development division, Sea Labs. The company has faced several setbacks, including a ban by the government on its Garena Free Fire game. 

According to a report by Reuters citing two sources familiar with the matter, Sea informed workers at its livestream and community service Booyah! that it did not have plans to update the app. The company’s decision to halt development of the app will result in up to 40 layoffs, as per the report. 

Meanwhile, the company is also said to have shut major projects — related to blockchain and public cloud projects — while firing “dozens” of employees in order to improve its profits, according to the report which cites a third person with knowledge of the developments. 

The report states that a company spokesperson said it was focussing on the long-term strength of its ecosystem, and that it had “made some changes to improve efficiency in our operations that impact a number of roles”.

Garena Free Fire, Sea’s popular battle royale game, was amongst the mobile apps and games that the government banned in February. The ban imposed by the IT ministry resulted in the removal of Free Fire, AppLock, and other 52 apps from Google Play and Apple’s App Store in the country on an immediate basis. Sea had later warned that it was taking a hit from the ban in India, where the game had a large player base. 

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