BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) is closing ScoreLoop AG, a German division that was involved in gaming payments systems according to a statement from the company. According to a statement from a company spokesperson “This decision aligns with BlackBerry’s strategy to focus developer efforts on delivering the best enterprise solutions for customers.”
The Canadian handset maker acquired ScoreLoop, which is based in Munich, Germany, back in 2011 in order to push gaming on its mobile platform. That effort appears to have failed and the company’s change in focus has driven several changes at the company in recent months. The decision to shutter the company will affect the 100 people still working there on enterprise applications.
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ScoreLoop closed as BlackBerry abandons gaming
In recent years BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) has tried several different strategies in order to attract more users to its atrophying platform. ScoreLoop was part of the company’s support for gaming developers, but it never managed to work as hoped. Developers stayed well away from Blackberry platforms for the most part, and its gaming business fared remarkably poorly.
Blackberry laid off 65 people who were working at ScoreLoop last month. Those were the final members of staff who had been working on consumer facing applications according to the company. The remaining 100 staff were working on enterprise applications for the company’s mobile device operating systems.
The company’s flirtatious relationship with mass market consumers, which required the flaunting of the Blackberry platform for gaming beyond solitaire, ultimately achieved little. ScoreLoop is a part of a business that never really existed at Blackberry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY), (TSE:BB), and one that exits the tech world almost anonymously.
Blackberry transformation becomes clear
BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) seems to have discovered new strength in recent week’s. The company’s unapologetic revelation of the weird smartphone, the Blackberry Passport, turned a few heads. The closure of ScoreLoop provides more evidence that the company is cutting costs and focusing itself on core business. Enterprise and governmental telecommunications is the company’s bread and butter, and it’s where the company appears to be taking refuge.
Blackberry stock has been doing extremely well this year as the company has demonstrated an awareness of its current position and a desire to change. The firm’s refocused strategy, and rumors that it may already have secured major contracts for its new generation of smartphones, has added to a generally buoyant stock market’s effect on the company.
Since 2014 began shares in BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB) have increased in value by more than 50%. Investors are optimistic about CEO John Chen’s plans for the future of the company, but he will have to demonstrate the viability of his new strategy if he wants the full support of the market. When the Blackberry Passport is finally launched next Autumn the success of the company’s focus will finally become clear. The small profit reported last month isn’t enough to justify the company’s current value.