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Oct 23, 2012

Zynga Fires At Least 100 Workers In Chicago, Boston And Austin

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Zynga In big trouble - fires at least 100 workers

Social gaming developer Zynga has announced the firing of 100 workers from its Boston, Chicago and Austin Texas locations.

50 workers at the company’s Boston office were sent packing on Tuesday and at the same time 50 more employees were asked to leave the company’s Austin, Texas studio.

Zynga made the announcement as the Apple press conference was under way, a move believed to have been used to hide news from members of the media.

The Zynga title “The Ville” was being worked on in Austin and that title has now been passed off to maintenance employees located at Zynga’s India office.

In closing the Boston studio Zynga has abandoned projects being worked on by those employees. No plans are on the calendar to develop or release the Boston games.

TechCrunch spoke with a former Zynga employee who noted:

“Pincus wants to be able to say that the company’s profitable but that’s harder as revenue goes down. They’re doing short-term things that don’t make any sense at all if you’re thinking about this being a stable company with $1.6 billion in cash in the bank.”

Another employee says between 12 to 20 Zynga workers were fired in Chicago.

Price targets for Zynga stock recently fell by 40 percent after the company slashed its 2012 guidance because of revenue damage from departing gamers.

As Electronista points out layoffs are the least of Zynga’s worries:

“Two insider trading suits have been filed against the company, and follow investigations of Zynga staffers and CEO Mark Pincus. Pincus and other high-ranking Zynga employees are accused of selling 43 million shares of stock in April at $12 per share, when employees and other early investors were banned from selling until May. By then, the stockholders claim, the business had already begun to slump.”

Do you think Zynga’s mismanagement and inability to keep social gamers over the long-run is leading to its downfall?


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