Hard-Hit Zynga Laying Off 18% of Workers
FarmVille maker struggles with rise in mobile gaming
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2013 1:25 AM CDT
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus walks off the stage after an announcement of new games at Zynga headquarters in San Francisco last year.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, fIle)

(Newser) – Hard times have hit Zynga, maker of hit social games like Mafia Wars and FarmVille—as well as numerous other now-closed duds. The company, which was blindsided by the steep rise in mobile gaming and corresponding desktop decline, is laying off 18% of its workforce, around 520 people, All Things Digital reports. The company will also close its offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas as part of its cost-cutting drive.

"None of us ever expected to face a day like today, especially when so much of our culture has been about growth," founder and CEO Mark Pincus wrote in a note to employees, promising generous severance packages and saying the cost-cutting is a necessary part of developing "breakthrough new social experiences." Zynga's share price dived 12% to $2.99 yesterday, a full 70% below its December 2011 IPO price, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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Jun 4, 2013 7:31 AM CDT
The games were never revolutionary or breakthrough to begin with, they were just for the near mindless. Farmville was nothing more than a dumbed down clone of 1989's Simcity.Companies like Zynga and Facebook cater to the dumber sections of the population by making decade old technologies (like sim games and social networks) seem like they are breakthrough technologies. There will always be a general lag effect to innovation and class awareness of that innovation. If you're using a breakthrough technology you're more than likely above average in intelligence, and more than likely someone who is beneath you mentally wont comprehend or use that technology for another 10 to 20 years.The lower you are in intelligence, the less aware you are of how the world is changing around you. The less aware of change you are, the less likely you can use that change to empower yourself, and dominate the future.
Jun 4, 2013 1:44 AM CDT
"5th" is not correct. What you should have said was "1/5th" "5th" is like, "On the 5th of July" not equal to saying one-fifth of the employees were let go.
Jun 4, 2013 1:38 AM CDT
Maybe stop cloning Farmville over and over again and people will care.