Zynga to cut 520 jobs

Social game giant laying off 18 percent of its workforce in an effort to reduce costs; offices in four cities closed; company to offer "generous" severance packages.

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Social game giant Zynga is cutting 520 jobs--or 18 percent of its workforce--in an effort to reduce costs and re-focus around mobile, the FarmVille studio announced today.

The layoffs will affect every arm of the San Francisco, California-based company and will total $80 million in staff costs.

The workforce reduction will take place across all functions of Zynga's business and is expected to be mostly completed by August.

The move will result in the closure of Zynga's offices in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, and Dallas and also includes the "slashing of other major infrastructure costs," according to The Wall Street Journal's AllThingsD.

In a memo sent to staffers today, Zynga CEO Mark Pincus--who recently slashed his annual salary to $1--called the layoffs "painful," but also necessary if the company is to succeed going forward.

"None of us ever expected to face a day like today, especially when so much of our culture has been about growth. But I think we all know this is necessary to move forward," Pincus said.

"The scale that served us so well in building and delivering the leading social gaming service on the Web is now making it hard to successfully lead across mobile and multiplatform, which is where social games are going to be played," he added.

Pincus said the staff reduction and company reorganization represents a "proactive commitment" to the company's mission of "connecting the world through games."

"By reducing our cost structure today we will offer our teams the runway they need to take risks and develop these breakthrough new social experiences," he said.

Because Zynga is making these moves today, Pincus said, the company is able to offer "generous" severance packages that demonstrate the firm's appreciation for their time and effort.

"I want to thank every one of you for the spirit, creativity and energy that you've invested in Zynga," Pincus said. "You've reintroduced a generation of people to gaming and through these games offered them new ways to connect with their families, make new friends and even sometimes find love."

Discussion

93 comments
sujith12
sujith12

i dont think its fair for people who will loose jobs

javalino
javalino

DIE, DIE, DIE MY DARLING!!!!

mr_squibble
mr_squibble

Just doing the math for Gamespot and its readers. Zynga is cutting 520 of ~2,900 employees. After the cuts they will have about ~2,400 employees left. That's still a substantial workforce to manage.

PETERAKO
PETERAKO

well I guess, zynga..."wears glasses"...bought the farm


YEAAAAAAAAAAAAA

Hurvl
Hurvl

"we will offer our teams the runway they need to take risks" Hmm, I wonder what that will lead to. Big companies, especially those that are accused of ripping off other games, rarely takes risks when it comes to games (except for getting sued about the rip-offs). I've never been interested in Zynga's games, but as they are kind of the Activision of the Facebook/mobile market (highly successful, but bland games) I still read articles about them, because I'm interested in any companies that are successful. We'll just see how that risk taking pans out.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

Sorry for the affected, really, but screw that company and its owners. They were part of the rising on F2P and tablet games and their damn greed caused a bubble that almost led to a mobile version of "Game Crash 83"


GhostHawk196
GhostHawk196

What's Zynga? Never heard of them before...

Elann2008
Elann2008

Bad news for those that lost their jobs.  Good news is that they are free from Zynga's hands.  Zynga isn't a good employer.  

farcorners
farcorners

so much for 'Social Games' killing the mainstream industry. Instead, Social Games are killing themselves. Over promise, Under deliver.

soulless4now
soulless4now

Please just fade into oblivion quicker. 

carfreak7
carfreak7

The best part is, i made 60 bucks off these guys buying and selling their stocks woot! 


Redsyrup
Redsyrup

But what does this mean for Farmville on Facebook?! 

Polaris-dono
Polaris-dono

It's time, Zynga. With more and more innovative indie games showing the casual market there's more to short-term satisfaction loops than cow-clicking, it was inevitable that there would come a time wherein stealing off of outdated formulas simply wouldn't cut it anymore.

The time has come. Prepare to die.

hrst1
hrst1

HAHA!!! REVENGE!! I STILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR MY TOMATOES TO GROW IN FARMVILLLE, SO SCREW YOU ZYNGA! lolololololol

wcwj26
wcwj26

 Zynga Poker is the only worthwhile game this company makes.

The rest is just garbage!

clqtte
clqtte

More people out of job. Something's very wrong around.

Sndewey
Sndewey

Lol, what ever happened to Zynga ruling the future games industry, huh gamespot?

DeadrisingX1
DeadrisingX1

Yes, it's bad that jobs have been lost, but then again, it's Zynga that's suffering.

nurnberg
nurnberg

Requiring idiots as customers to make money from can only go so far.  Even most idiots eventually find out they are getting scammed.

TheDoctorNW
TheDoctorNW

Yeah, screw Zynga--how dare they make products people like.  Hard core or GTFO!  And treating your employees well?  F' that, you losers--work those sumbitches to the bone and then fire them when your title ships, like a "real" game company!  4-5 years of stability is for losers, ya n00bs!    Maybe you should work on some really original titles, like CoD, MW, MoH--then we'd take you seriously. 

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Keep circling the drain Zynga.  Someone will eventually flush the toilet.

Mega_Loser
Mega_Loser

not happy news when people lose their occupation and income.

happy news would be if zynga started being creative with their facebook games instead of ripping off other, successful games.

could this be the start of their outsourcing strategy?

the_big_doggg
the_big_doggg

Not surprised dont think Zynga has made anything good since Farmville, that ship is sinking fast.

WingChopMasta
WingChopMasta

Oh man, I love it when a fart bubble bursts. It does stink for the people involved but you should have known better before you jumped into that tub.

Fuck Zynga. 

kbaily
kbaily

Honestly this was bound to happen.  Zynga is sort of like one of those 3rd party Atari publishers that popped up in '82 that saw a market to make an easy buck off of and cranked out cheap, easy to make games that were free to play but full of microtransactions and the thing is, they never expanded upon that and if you don't grow and change, people will get tired and move on.  I know I played a bit of Farmville and Castleville on FB but they get old real fast especially all the grinding and having to annoy friends for stuff.

ggregd
ggregd

People who got bored, frustrated and annoyed with their games on Facebook aren't going to play them on mobile.  People who try them for the first time on mobile will get bored, frustrated and annoyed, then Zynga will be gone forever.

gamist
gamist

Sucks, but easy come, easy go.

Cloud418
Cloud418

@PETERAKO 

•_•)...( •_•)>⌐■-■....(⌐■_■) YEEEEAAAHHH

 

packtop
packtop

@Polaris-dono 

IOS games will probably follow in a few years too...

maverickbleh
maverickbleh

@TheDoctorNW make products people like, you mean "Blatantly stealing from other companies and settling with them after"? So your sarcastic CoD point is really moot.

rrhammer
rrhammer

I partly agree. However, i also read "generous severance packages". I'm sure they were all making serious bank in the first place.

Rayzakk
Rayzakk

@WantYouBad @Redsyrup What do you mean?  I have hundreds of friends.  Bet you don't have that many.  I finally feel good about myself.  *sobs* tell me I'm good.

TheDoctorNW
TheDoctorNW

@maverickbleh "Follow a trend" is not the same as "blatantly steal," IMO.  My CoD reference is valid--out of the Battlefield, Medal of Honor, and Call of Duty series, which of them is the original, and which of them "blatantly stole from other comapnies"?  

Mega_Loser
Mega_Loser

@rrhammer  

oh yes, i missed the bit where it says they were compensated. thanks.

still, the ending is just as sad. in a time where words mean nothing and are used to mean anything, "generous" is a blurred quantity.

ACMC85
ACMC85

@Rayzakk @WantYouBad @Redsyrup Feel bad for people losing their jobs, but when management forces you to return employee stock options.... did no one see this coming.

keech
keech

@TheDoctorNW @keech Zynga are blatantly predatory with their attempted cash grabs.  Make F2P trash games, hook people, then make it impossible to progress unless you shell out money on a regular basis.

 

You DO realize this article is about Zynga having to lay off hundreds of employees right?  Zynga was riding high on the casual/mobile gaming boom, of course they weren't letting employees go.  Though now that people are starting to wise up to these sorts of practices, they are in the same leaky boat as other game companies.

TheDoctorNW
TheDoctorNW

@keech...You do realize what you typed can and has been said about all video games, everywhere, right?

 As for how they treat their employees--I have friends who work or have worked there, and they've had nothing but praise.  They certainly never busted their humps to release a game, only to then be laid off, like happens with so many traditional game companies...

keech
keech

@TheDoctorNW @maverickbleh I think you mean "how dare they make products people get addicted too and keep playing even if they aren't having fun and prey upon the compulsive, weak-willed, and ignorant to make money?!"


Since when does Zynga have a reputation for treating employees well?  Most of the stuff I've read suggests the exact opposite.  May wanna look into some of the things Zynga employees have said about the company before you speak, because even EA at their worst have better business ethics than Zynga.