Major layoffs at Zynga

Social gaming studio possibly closes Austin, Texas-based branch, laying off 100 or more in the process; Chicago and Cambridge outfits also reportedly affected.

[UPDATE] Following the publication of this story, Gamasutra has updated its story to say Zynga Austin was only possibly going to be shut down. The story below has been updated to reflect the change.

Today is not a great day for many Zynga employees. The social gaming studio has confirmed to Gamasutra that its Austin, Texas-based studio may have closed, with more than 100 staffers losing their jobs in the process.

It is also believed that the company's Chicago and Cambridge branches may have been affected. GameSpot is chasing down details at the moment and will update the story when new information becomes available.

The announcement of the downsizing came during Apple's much-publicized press event, during which the technology giant announced the long-rumored iPad mini, among other things.

Zynga is headquartered in San Francisco, California. In addition to operations in Austin, Texas and Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company has branches in numerous North American cities, including Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Eugene, Los Angeles, Los Gatos, McKinney, New York, San Diego, and Seattle.

Zynga also has a significant international presence. The company currently has outfits in Bangalore, Dublin, Beijing, Farnham, Frankfurt, Luxembourg, Singapore, Tokyo, and Toronto.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

52 comments
farcorners
farcorners

bubbles burst. The zynga business model expanded rapidly. They could never keep the growth in simple social gaming up.

XxTheEvilxX
XxTheEvilxX

Dr. Evil (a.k.a. EA CEO) -- No... NO... NO NO NO... THIS CANNOT BE!?!?

 

Well Zynga, throw me a freakin' bone here..

 

This makes me angry. And when Dr. Evil gets angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset. And when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset... developers DIE!

 

Brixtan
Brixtan

Saw this coming years away...Zynga is a fad developer. 

Techn1c4l
Techn1c4l

Zynga does very similar things that others studios do. Including layoffs.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

People losing their jobs is always bad, but perhaps this will provide some hint to other publishers and developers (cough, EA, cough) that endless free-to-play, casual, microtransaction supported, social garbage games aren't the right path forward for the industry.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

what goes around comes around.  good luck to the employees

garrysempire
garrysempire

before Zynga dies i hope they would give billions of chips to poor poker players in their zynga poker lol

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

I feel bad for all the people who will lose there jobs, but i hate Zynga and hope they close all there studios down and go bankrupt. 

slayer1090
slayer1090

Not sure if bad new for ex employees, or good news for freed drones.

hobotech64
hobotech64

I won't celebrate people losing their jobs unlike SOME will, but I hope they start changing direction.

cirugo
cirugo

please, please, please let EA be next!!

UnwantedSpam
UnwantedSpam

Good! Knew there would be some sort of karma for all the games these idiots have copied. So much for the so-called "social gaming revolution". 

 

Now excuse me while I laugh heartily while sipping some fine wine on mah comfy chair.

RingRunner
RingRunner

Hate to see this kind of thing happen to people, but maybe it was too big too fast. Heads up for the onslaught of games from the people losing their jobs.

Daian
Daian

I feel bad for the people losing their jobs but damn do I hate Zynga.

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

Wish they would just close down period, scamming ass' trying to ruin gaming in my opinion.......

ImpliedBunny
ImpliedBunny

Should this be news?   They were kind of irrelevant to begin with...

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

Despite all of the iPads selling millions. Zynga has finally figured out that those millions of people don't use those iPads for gaming. So much for the rise is causal social gaming relovution. Zynga's games did suck. So it is no loss if the brand dies.

 

Hopefully the workers will find work and make real games.

xdrmonkeyfishx
xdrmonkeyfishx

Their pain, it amuses me. Obviously not the employees, but the company. Zynga is terrible with their shitty farmville and whatnot. Hope this sad excuse for a "gaming company" withers and dies

Hodax
Hodax

Zynga bought and killed Warstorm, thus I have no remorse for this company's impending collapse. Death to the Energy Bar.

ggregd
ggregd

Zynga's history will read like a mini version of the .com boom and bust. 

HailHellfire
HailHellfire

wow!

why do they need all of those branches???

no offense but they havent put out that many games & their games are quite small compared to bigger $59 games

torres_unix
torres_unix

What!?  These prime examples of plagiarism are still around!?

ChiefFreeman
ChiefFreeman

Zynga will be the quickest rise to fall developer and publisher in history. Their games are all blatant ripoffs. They deserve this.

SolidTy
SolidTy

I wonder now if they regret going public.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

It's okay, you can still copy games as a small studio.  I don't know why they need that many people anyway.

King9999
King9999

Too many layoff stories lately.

javalino
javalino

Next is Facebook !!!! Sorry faces !!!!!

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I wonder if Zynga is anticipating a major loss in its legal battles. The company might dissolve itself so that if there is any large punitative judgment, there is little asset, just debt. Or it could just be that business has been bad, in which case the news doesn't interest me. :)

Yulaw2000
Yulaw2000

It's not good for people to lose their jobs but hopefully they can get work at a respectable employer now.

Lucca202
Lucca202

The best part? They intentionally did it during the Apple event hoping that that event would overshadow these layoffs, thus preserving their reputation and stock prices. They gave all employees two hours to clear their desks.

 

I'd like to say this is the lowest of the low, but they really reinvent "low" every time.

DrKill09
DrKill09

Good.  Social "games" suck, and need to die off.  Why don't you guys try getting some TALENT?

megakick
megakick

 @cirugo

 Meh EA makes real games Zynga makes casual games. IMO this is a good thing other companies may see this and not put a lot of funds into casual gaming.

DoctorTanaka
DoctorTanaka

 @ggregd I hear you. They spent like a dot com: gourmet lunches, art classes, back massages, and happy hours with alcohol, all of it free to the employees. Well, it was probably a fun place to work while it lasted.

torres_unix
torres_unix

 @ChiefFreeman True dat!  Absolutely no innovation but skilled in ripping off other work, I don't see the copyright police knocking at their door.

 

megakick
megakick

 @javalino

 Yep Facebook isn't doing as well as projected and in time there will be another Facebook.

Myspace, Friendster, Facebook there can only be one.

kkee
kkee

 @Yulaw2000 I have to agree with this. I hope everyone finds a new job soon, and Zynga becomes a forgotten memory.

vault-boy
vault-boy

 @PixelAddict Don't tell that to TF2. They might decide to bury you alive in a pile the millions of dollars they make every month. 

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

 @Lucca202 Good point, but it didn't work.  This news is all over the place, including my friends who work in the game industry (who have posted it on numerous social sites).

 

It is an unprofessional move though.

decoy1978
decoy1978

 @DrKill09 I do think that there is a place for social/casual games. Where else can our girlfriends call themselves "gamers" by placing 20 trees in their farm...

 

However my main gripe with Zynga is that they are a bloodsucking copycat company FILLED with plagiarists that steal IP from indie developers. They are all talentless hacks who give facelifts to already existing games. 

 

I hope that there is a special level of gaming hell where they are forced to play FFXIV for eternity when they die. I have no love for Zynga and I am sorry to see people get laid off, but when you sleep with Satan, don't be too surprised with the fallout. 

 

 

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

 @Landsharkk Sadly, none of these Zynga games does it right.  They are persistent, annoying, and glitchy.

 

All are a recipe for distaste.  So this "free" will not pay anyone.

sdnoriko
sdnoriko

 @decoy1978  @DrKill09 Not sure why you assumed anyone posting in the GameSpot comments section actually has a girlfriend...

Landsharkk
Landsharkk

 @decoy1978  @DrKill09 That's a bit sexist, eh?  My Wife probably has played more hours of Assassin's Creed and Skyrim than most guys (including myself!).  

 

 

LeftyxLaura
LeftyxLaura

 @decoy1978  @DrKill09 I'm a girl gamer, and I never have played any Zynga games at all because they look as boring as heck. So don't be too judging. Its all those people who are casual gamers.;)

 

And I do agree, every Zynga game I have heard about is either a rip off of something else or is a game that is just point and click. No strategy included.

Bangerman15
Bangerman15

 @decoy1978  @DrKill09 the ff14 for eternity part made me lol, gosh that game was horrible.. can't believe i spent 80 bucks on that damn collectors edition XD