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Videogame maker Majesco shuts down Foxborough studio, which had focused on mobile and Facebook games

Posted by Scott Kirsner  January 7, 2013 10:15 AM

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Majesco Entertainment, the publicly-held New Jersey videogame company that cranks out titles like BloodRayne and Hulk Hogan's Main Event, is closing its small studio in Foxborough this week. The studio's dozen employees got the news on Friday.

The studio had developed three different mobile games, including Flea Symphony and Legends of Loot, as well as a Facebook game called Miniputt Park. Studio head Jeff Anderson confirmed the closure, which I tweeted about late on Friday, saying it was a surprise to the employees there, but that "we understand the challenges of the business" as game developers try to score big hits in the rapidly-evolving mobile and social landscape.

"Zynga's high-visibility drop in value has definitely had an impact," says Michael Dornbrook, a local angel investor and formerly an executive at Harmonix Music Systems. "There has been a sense that a bubble is bursting. I could easily imagine some...top execs at Majesco deciding it was time to cut back their investments in the area."

The Foxborough studio was created in 2011, when Majesco acquired the assets of Quick Hit, a venture-backed startup that had developed a web-based football game.

I called and e-mailed several Majesco representatives for comment, but haven't heard back.

This is the latest in a string of studio closures and layoffs in Boston's gaming scene, which I wrote about last month.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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