Gaming Legend Trip Hawkins Steps Down From His Latest Startup

Trip Hawkins, Digital ChocolateStepping down.

Trip Hawkins, founder of video-game publisher Electronic Arts, has stepped down from his current venture, Digital Chocolate, according to a blog post he wrote on Friday before the Memorial Day weekend.

He alluded to cutbacks at his company: “For its next stage of growth, Digital Chocolate is narrowing its focus and it made sense to get more streamlined.”

TechCrunch heard but couldn’t confirm that Marc Metis, Digital Chocolate’s president, is now interm CEO and that the company has laid off as many as 180 employees.

Hawkins noted the timing: 30 years ago, he founded Electronic Arts, which is still a large force in video games.

Digital Chocolate, which makes mobile and social games, hasn’t been as big a success. It raised $12 million a year ago. But according to AppData, its largest Facebook game has just 1.7 million monthly active users. It’s dwarfed by Zynga, which has also overtaken Electronic Arts in size.

Hawkins wrote that he intends to stay active in the video-game industry by writing, speaking, and consulting.

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