Zynga shuts down Boston studio, cuts 5 percent of total workforce

Zynga chief Mark Pincus revealed that Zynga Boston will close; proposed closures of Zynga Japan and UK studios; total layoffs will amount to a 5 percent company-wide headcount dip.

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Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus has confirmed earlier reports of major layoffs at the social game publisher, detailing that 5 percent of the company's total workforce will be laid off in an internal restructure designed to "streamline" Zynga's future operations.

In an internal memo to staff, Pincus revealed that Zynga will be shutting down its Boston studio, and has proposed closures of its Japan and UK studios.

Further, the company will be "sunsetting" 13 of its older games and "significantly reducing" its investment in The Ville.

Pincus also confirmed that the company is reducing its staff at the Zynga Austin studio, and making a number of partner team reductions, although these were not specified in the memo.

"In all, we will unfortunately be parting ways with approximately 5 percent of our full-time workforce," Pincus said in the memo.

"We don't take these decisions lightly, as we recognise the impact to our colleagues and friends who have been on this journey with us. We appreciate their amazing contributions and will miss them."

Pincus said these changes come as part of an overall cost-reduction plan that also includes significant cuts in spending on data hosting, advertising, and contractors. According to Pincus, these reductions--along with Zynga's efforts to "implement more stringent budget and resource allocation" around new games and projects--will improve the company's profitability in the future.

"I'm confident this puts us on the right path to deliver on the promise of social gaming and make Zynga into an internet treasure," Pincus said.

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.

Discussion

56 comments
Cappuccin0
Cappuccin0

It's always bad when you hear (read) about people losing their jobs but... damn I hate Zynga and all it represents.

wyan_
wyan_

The gaming industry has 5% less suckage because of this.

Gta3-fan334
Gta3-fan334

Zynga games in their current form were just a fad. Now that the fad is on the downswing, they need to more traditional games. Sure they can still sell content in addition to their games, but energy bars and friend spamming needs to go away. 

torres_unix
torres_unix

What did Zynga do other than create games that aren't really games but lame excuses to milk people's money!?

decoy1978
decoy1978

I feel bad for anyone that does get unemployed, but Zynga deserves this. Copying other people's work only to release it as your own has always been frowned upon in any field whether it be video games, writing papers, etc. 

TohouAsura
TohouAsura

In the words of M. Bison:

 

YES!! YES!!!

 

I have NO pity for those who were fired. Zynga are criminals and I hate all who support them.

 

Rquirements for being a Zynga employee:

 

1. Being a talentless hack.

2. Extremely well versed in the arts of copy-paste.

3. Good with kids. And their wallets.

4. Be even more of a talentless hack.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

People losing their jobs is never a good thing.

 

But Zynga is the giant beast that needs to be slain.  And slowly, I hope collectively the global market does just that.

 

Unfortunately, there are rainbows and pink unicorn decorations to be bought, and I know one Soccer Mom isn't going to let her neighbor's farm outdo hers. 

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

Gee, what a surprise.  Zynga has no talent.

EPaul
EPaul

Got too big for their own good

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

I'm surprised that they haven't acknowledged the real problem that their games lack lasting appeal. That's why they're losing money and why they are cutting back.

adilejaz
adilejaz

I hated them for their games!! but casual online players would differ from!! I still don't see their games as games at all!! The only thing that makes me sad is that people lost their jobs!!

firehawk998
firehawk998

Good I want Zynga rot very slowly for popularizing the scam P2W games on FB, and also publicly saying they love to steal ideas from other games without any regrets. On the other hand though I wish those who gets fired may find good jobs and hopefully dont end up in another company like Zynga.

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

what goes around comes around.  good luck to the employees

jurk182
jurk182

Hoping for at least 5% less shitty clones of better games from the world's worst game developer.

Freezezzy
Freezezzy

They're already creatively bankrupt. It's only a matter of time until their finances meet the same fate.

MrDouglas
MrDouglas

I'd not be surprised if EA steps in and buys out the (still) lucratice 'Ville-franchise.

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

i hope they go bankrupt and close all there studios down.

I HATE Zynga and their stupid games!

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

They grew WAY too big, too quickly.  These idiot suits keep hotshotting things once they get a bit of success... especially with a market as volatile as the social gaming market. 

 

If they had kept a team of maybe 50 people, and outsourced localization to have their games in different languages, they'd still be in extremely good shape.  They'd likely have less games, their revenue coming in would be less, but their expenditures would be a lot less too.  Why do they need headquarters in 9 different cities for Facebook games?  They can do phenomenal business with just one or two HQs.

firstclassgamer
firstclassgamer

Even though I could careless about Zynga every time I get on GameSpot there's always news about a Studio shutting down

Barrakas21
Barrakas21

Fuck you Zynga i hope you bankrupt

timmccrthy
timmccrthy

Americans are losing their jobs in this tough economy? NOOO!!!! Wait, it's Zynga? The guys that just spam my facebook feed all day? Enjoy your stay on the rolls ya jerks!

dlhoff
dlhoff

I remember a few months back, when everyone was saying "SOCIAL GAMING IS THE FUTURE!!!", and major gaming studios were trying to figure out how to cash in on the Farmville crowd. Now we see (surprise!) that it was just a fad, like anything else, and gaming studios need to go back to making actual GAMES.

RogueJedi86
RogueJedi86

Am I the only one starting to get tired of the word "streamline" being used for "we fired a lot of people"? If streamlining is so great, why does no company do it when they're on top of the world? They're starting to demean the use of the word streamline by using it in place of firing.

Phoenix-Ho-Yoku
Phoenix-Ho-Yoku

bad news for the pp working

good news for the gamers...zynga is lame i hope the whole company will shut down

SolidTy
SolidTy

My comment is gone, how odd.

 

Well, It sucks for those that worked for Zynga. I bet Zynga regrets going public.

japanesegoth
japanesegoth

most of their games have no depth to them...there's no challenge in farmville, or any goal other than unlocking stupid decorations. i like words with friends tho..

too bad..i applied for a job at their texas location.

Agronot
Agronot

hate to see anyone get laidoff...been there and it isn't fun. Social gaming in its current form though wont last long. Unless you have a product that's a hit it's impossible to make money on something offered for free.

DragonRift
DragonRift

Sad news for the employees.... I do hope they find work soon.

 

However, in other HAPPIER news, I'm glad to finally see Zynga getting kicked in the junk like it deserves.  >:D

---Cipher---
---Cipher---

But where will I get my deeply immersive and rewarding games like Farmville if they cut the workforce!? Oh, that's right, I'll go play anything else ever made...

hector530
hector530

social games are bad for gaming, heres to hoping they go down

Carlos_D_F
Carlos_D_F

"... make Zynga into an internet treasure." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH! That is good. That is *very* good! Thank you, sir!

mav_destroyer
mav_destroyer

 @TohouAsura I'm not a fan of Zunga but I think you're being too harsh. Work is work and being out of work sucks no matter what you do. And being a developer/programmer is no easy job even if you're just reverse engineering other people's games.

jer_1
jer_1

 @Barrakas21 Ditto, now just to convince about 40 million suckers on Facebook to stop playing their sh!tware.

Freezezzy
Freezezzy

@dlhoff While they're at it, they should go back to making games that you only have to pay for once, and where the winner is decided by skill and not by who's the biggest spender.

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

 @RogueJedi86 if only executives would streamline themselves theyd stop using silly phrases like these... words like fusion, hybridization, gravitas and the like.

PixelAddict
PixelAddict

 @SolidTy Saw your (similar) comment in the.. um.. competing?.. Gamespot story entitled "Major layoffs at Zynga".  It's still there, btw.

 

You're having comment confusion.  :)

catsimboy
catsimboy

 @Carlos_D_FYou know what they say "One persons treasure is everyone else's trash"

 

torres_unix
torres_unix

 @mav_destroyer  @TohouAsura I agree that most of the people being let go aren't directly responsible with Zynga's deceptive business practices... that includes a lousy company name and that annoying dog logo.

torres_unix
torres_unix

 @leviathanwing  @RogueJedi86 Those silly words are part of the closed stuffy-suit corporate culture.  They should be included in the latest version of bullshit bingo.