Wargaming America slashes more than 100 Emeryville jobs


EMERYVILLE — Wargaming America, seeking to operate more efficiently and escape skyrocketing costs in the Bay Area, has decided to jettison more than 100 jobs, close its Emeryville offices and shift its local operations to Illinois and Texas, a company executive said Friday.

“It’s mainly being driven by business logic,” Stan Watt, a director with Wargaming America, said Friday. “The high cost of living in the Bay Area is also a factor. It’s everything: housing, taxes, labor costs. It’s the whole cost of living in the Bay Area.”

The company is a developer and publisher of multiplayer online games for the tech firm’s website, Wargaming.net, according to a Bloomberg News private company report.

“Wargaming America Inc. will permanently close its office located at 1480 64th St. in Emeryville,” the company stated in an official notice to the state’s Employment Development Department.

The shutdown also will eliminate 117 jobs in Emeryville, the EDD WARN filing stated. The East Bay city has been the site of Wargaming’s only Bay Area operation.

Although high Bay Area costs were a factor behind the shutdown and shift of operations for Wargaming, Watt said software engineers demand high salaries everywhere in the country.

Wargaming America’s North America operations will be consolidated to existing offices in Chicago and Austin, Texas, Watt said.

The company’s games include battle scenarios focused on warships, military aircraft, tanks, historical situations and intergalactic conflicts, its website stated.

The first layoffs are scheduled to occur by March 30, according to the EDD filing.

“There are no bumping rights applicable to the employees being terminated,” Wargaming America reported to the EDD. “In addition, there are no unions representing the affected employees.”