Rumor: Zynga Hit With Big Layoffs - UPDATED

Rumor: Zynga Hit With Big Layoffs - UPDATED

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Zynga has reportedly laid off large numbers of employees from its Boston, Austin and Chicago studios, and tried to camouflage the move by making it during the Apple press event.

Zynga's struggles have begun to take a toll on rank-and-file workers, as the company is rumored to have cut more than 100 employees from its studio in Austin. The news came from Twitter user Justin Maxwell, a friend of a former Austin employee, who reported that the layoff notification came during today's Apple press event and that employees were given just two hours to vacate the building.

According to his source, the layoffs have affected the "The Ville and Bingo" teams. Electronic Arts sued Zynga over The Ville back in August, claiming that it was a "direct lift" of its popular Sims Social. Zynga is also continuing to struggle with an ongoing slide in its share price and loss of high profile executives; in October the company's value dropped roughly 20 percent following the announcement of a third quarter loss in the range of $90 to $105 million.

Similar reports about Zynga's studios in Boston and Chicago have also surfaced on Twitter, although no numbers have been reported in those cases. We'll update as more details become available.

Source: Twitter

UPDATE: Both Gamasutra and VentureBeat have independently confirmed the layoffs; VentureBeat says "almost" the entire Austin staff has been laid off, while Gamasutra states that the studio has been shut down entirely. Either way, we wish all the best to everyone affected by the cuts.

UPDATE 2: Gamasutra now says it has confirmation that Zynga's Boston studio has been shut down as well. "The outpouring of support for us has been incredible," Fareed Mosavat, the general manager of the Boston studio, tweeted in the wake of the closure. "Love this Boston scene."

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It sucks for the employees. Hopefully they find a more stable company to work for, but that's not much of a guarantee considering how game creating seems to work.

It's kind of funny how so many of us would love to work in the industry, but it really is a far from ideal occupation in reality.

Now it's starting to look more like Zygna are the leaders in casualty gaming.

Who would've thought? A company that's been holding a massive scheme to grab as much money as possible through plagiarism and now changes to web-casinos lays off a ton of people that aren't needed anymore.

Don't get me wrong, it sucks for the employees and all that ... But colour me definitely-not-surprised-at-all.

FEichinger:
Who would've thought? A company that's been holding a massive scheme to grab as much money as possible through plagiarism and now changes to web-casinos lays off a ton of people that aren't needed anymore.

Don't get me wrong, it sucks for the employees and all that ... But colour me definitely-not-surprised-at-all.

This. My condolences to the affected employees and ex-employees, obviously, but I can't say I have any pity for Zynga itself. Social gaming needs to find its letters of nobility, and that won't happen through freemium Facebook bullshit.

Hopefully, this will spell the end of every goddamned "-ville" game in existence.

All of the layoffs were immediately sued as soon as they got other jobs in the industry.

Legion:
It sucks for the employees. Hopefully they find a more stable company to work for, but that's nor much of a guarantee considering how game creating seems to work.

It's kind of funny how so many of us would love to work in the industry, but it really is a far from ideal occupation in reality.

That's the sad truth :(

I've known people who are much happier working for "boring" companies than they were when they were working in the game industry. It's not like that at every company, but it seems to be a pretty common thing unfortunately.

Legion:
It sucks for the employees. Hopefully they find a more stable company to work for, but that's nor much of a guarantee considering how game creating seems to work.

It's kind of funny how so many of us would love to work in the industry, but it really is a far from ideal occupation in reality.

Agreed.
I can't help but wonder what this is doing too the company's leadership - they're the ones who deserve to be punished for their companies' failings, but I can't shake the feeling that they're more than willing to layoff as many as they need before they'd ever give themselves a pay cut.

I wonder what kind of people lead these companies nowadays. Ever heard of organic growth? It's the opposite of this:

Yesterday:
"Let's hire 20 people and make a game!"

Today:
"Wow, or game is making millions! Hire a bazillion people and lets DO THIS!!!"

Tomorrow:
"Shit, costs too high! Lay off the bazillion people!"

Tough break to all the guys getting laid off, Unemployment really sucks, especially in this economy. But with I.T degrees they hopefully won't be down in the gutter too long before they get other work.

As for the company itself...

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As much as I have sympathy for the employees laid off, I've been there and it sucks, I have no sympathy for Zynga as a company. It produces cheap, opportunistic crap in my opinion and I would much rather it and others like it disappear and allow better companies with more original concepts to flourish.

On a side note: While perusing the Google Play store and the Chrome web store I am overwhelmed by the number blatant ripoffs of successful apps, particularly games. Some don't even make an effort to conceal or differentiate themselves from the apps they are ripping off.

Ken Sapp:
As much as I have sympathy for the employees laid off, I've been there and it sucks, I have no sympathy for Zynga as a company. It produces cheap, opportunistic crap in my opinion and I would much rather it and others like it disappear and allow better companies with more original concepts to flourish.

On a side note: While perusing the Google Play store and the Chrome web store I am overwhelmed by the number blatant ripoffs of successful apps, particularly games. Some don't even make an effort to conceal or differentiate themselves from the apps they are ripping off.

That's because the requirement to ensure that a game is an original IP is on the owners of the IP, so if you can throw up a clone and hop town before you get shut down, then you do it. It's a hell of a terrible mentality.

Hero in a half shell:
Tough break to all the guys getting laid off, Unemployment really sucks, especially in this economy. But with I.T degrees they hopefully won't be down in the gutter too long before they get other work.

As for the company itself...

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Couldn't have said it better myself. Maybe this will force them to *GASP* produce UNIQUE games! What a terrible fate that would be for them if they had to be original.

While it is bad for ex-employees, I don't feel bad about decline of Zynga
It is like if in the end of Star Wars after Empire was defeated someone would start screaming BOOO! because of all those clone troopers who lost jobs
Greater good people, greater good.

They've shut-down two entire studios? 0_o I know Zynga where ripping off games wholesale in some cases but this seems drastic even for the slide they are undergoing on the markets. Once again the Zynga bosses are going to retain their millions after gross mismanagement and potential illegality (they are still under investigation for insider trading).

Once again those higher up in the organization have shown us they don't know the first thing about running a successful games company, nevermind an ethical one. Zynga is doing a lot of damage to the emerging mass-market for games both in terms of the crap they are pumping out and their business practices.

Let me say it once more; We fucking called it over a year ago.

To Quote me From September 2011;

"All it takes is a small shift in usership or advertising confidence and a million dollar prized cow can turn out to be a dog-turd. This isn't even going into mismanagement; small companies that make it big quick have a nasty habit on not being able to deal with their new found position and making terrible decisions...

...When investor pull out in the sector starts i have a feeling it will not stop. Speculators [especially when it comes to the fast world of tech] are ruthlessly fickle and jumpy as coked-up Meerkats. Here's hoping that a lot of good people don't get squeezed out of the industry all together as many social gaming companies have served as a foot in the door for new talent. "

Pebkio:
All of the layoffs were immediately sued as soon as they got other jobs in the industry.

These were my thoughts exactly.

OT: I'm gonna have to agree. Despite the layoffs sucking for the employees, there's no Zynga would have held together. Too many people, not enough actual work in the company.

As much as it is fun to say anything about "calling it" it's kind of like predicting the boat will crash when it is plowing full speed ahead towards something as large as, say, Australia.

that being said i regret not looking into getting some options to resell before things went down

 

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