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Zynga Closes 13 Games, 5% Staff Laid-Off

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Mark Pincus, CEO of the social gaming giant Zynga, announces that the company is laying off five percent of their entire work force.

On Tuesday 23rd October, 2012, Mark Pincus emailed his staff to notify them about possibly affected studios. Of their collection of studios, the Farnham studio in England, and the Tokyo studio in Japan have been named as studios that may be closed within the foreseeable future.

Additionally, Boston studio has been completely shut down, while a number of staff employed at the Austin studio has been laid off. In total, about five percent of Zynga’s work force have lost their jobs.

“This is the most painful part of an overall cost-reduction plan that also includes significant cuts in spending on data hosting, advertising and outside services, primarily contractors,” Pincus said in his email.

Thirteen different titles are scheduled to be shut down, as well as reducing investment in The Ville. It has not been confirmed what the thirteen titles would be, but Indie Social Games notes that three games have already been shut down without notice. The removed games include Mafia Wars 2Frontier Ville, and Zynga Poker. Nevermind. They’re completely wrong. There is still no information pertaining as to what those thirteen titles due to shut down will be.

“We will all be discussing these difficult changes more with our teams and as a company,” Pincus continued in his email, “Tomorrow, Dave and I will be hosting a post-earnings webcast (details to follow) and next week we will be discussing our broader vision and strategy during our quarterly all-hands meeting. 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.”

I’m personally not a fan of Zynga, but that doesn’t change that this is pretty horrible news for those who have lost their jobs. Being from Britain myself, this is also quite discouraging. Given that Zynga is worth millions, Britain is losing out. Fortunately, the United Kingdom still has the Dublin studio, in Ireland. Regardless of the impact this would have on the market and on employment, it’s a terrible situation for the employees world-wide that have been let off, and I hope they find new work soon.

Zynga’s Official Website 
Indie Social Games

Added an opinion. This is a blog, after all. The usual rule applies: supply the facts, and then share an opinion at the end (to separate the opinion from the facts).

Second Edit:
Well, that’s what I get for not double checking on my sources. Indie Social Games report, “Our search reveals a total of three games have been taken offline.” They then include Frontier Ville  and Zynga Poker in the list of the three offline games, adding that both titles redirect users to other available Zynga releases. A little fact checking reveals that Frontier Ville was just renamed, and that Zynga Poker still survives.

Furthermore, Mafia Wars 2 — which was stated outright to be offline — remains intact. Consequently, there is still no information suggesting what those thirteen titles scheduled to shut down will be. Shame on me for trusting sources. Perhaps next time I’ll double check these details before I publish a story, instead of checking the details after.

Third Edit:
Additionally, I would like to add that Zynga Poker survives under a new name–Texas HoldÉm Poker. Despite this change in name, the game still addresses itself as Zynga PokerUsers may also access the game from the Zynga Poker page, the Zynga Poker Twitter and Facebook page, or the Zynga platform itself.

Despite this, I’ve still messaged the Zynga Poker Twitter to clarify further on the subject as to close all debate on the subject. I will edit this post further should I receive a response.


Videogame reviewer and student videogame developer, located in Scotland. Founder of the Gaming Advance blog.

Can be reached at the email address: CrashScreen@GamingAdvance.com.

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  • checkYourFacts

    wrong – zynga poker is down

    • http://www.facebook.com/michael.cessburger Crash Screen

      Have you tried playing the game? http://i.imgur.com/HyAPQ.png

      It’s the same game, but it just appears to have a different name now. I’ll edit the post to be that little bit extra clearer though.