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Zynga closing more studios

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Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has confirmed more cuts coming to beleaguered casual game company Zynga – 18% of the work force.  Their New York, LA, Austin and Dallas studios are shutting down.

Love ’em or hate ’em, a few years back, Zynga was the biggest thing.  Everyone wanted to mimic their success.  Now, it appears that everything is falling apart for them.

Pincus states in his blog post on this:

[quote]

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. 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.

These moves, while hard to face today, represent a proactive commitment to our mission of connecting the world through games.  Mobile and touch screens are revolutionizing gaming.  Our opportunity is to make mobile gaming truly social by offering people new, fun ways to meet, play and connect.  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.

[/quote]

It is unfortunate for those employees, but at least they are apparently getting generous severance packages.  It appears to be a terrible recurring trend in the industry at the moment – massive retrenchments from development houses.

What do you think of the new focus on mobile gaming?  Will it be successful for companies in the end, or just another technology fad?

Last Updated: June 4, 2013

19 Comments

  1. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    June 4, 2013 at 11:29

    I hate reading things like this 🙁 Saddens me to see people lose their jobs 🙁

    Reply

    • HvR

      June 4, 2013 at 11:42

      Risk you take for jumping on a bandwagon.

      Reply

      • mancera

        June 4, 2013 at 12:03

        You have an avatar!!!!

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief Commander

          June 4, 2013 at 12:03

          You only notice now?

          Reply

          • mancera

            June 4, 2013 at 12:04

            I only saw it now, there wasn’t one yesterday

          • Admiral Chief Commander

            June 4, 2013 at 12:04

            It comes and goes, I suspect he logs in differently

          • mancera

            June 4, 2013 at 12:08

            Comes and goes much like Zynga’s games?

          • Admiral Chief Commander

            June 4, 2013 at 12:10

            More like Darryn’s attempts to hit puberty

          • HvR

            June 4, 2013 at 12:14

            Actually just changed it, no idea why it is constant as an EA executive. this PC rarely gets powered down so I’m logged in the whole time.

            Also find it quite funny that conversations about my avatar is longer than the threads on most of Geoff’s articles.

          • mancera

            June 4, 2013 at 13:39

            That’s true, and it’s the second time it’s happened in a month. I think Geoff needs to start worrying.

  2. Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    June 4, 2013 at 11:36

    Focus on good mobile games is needed. drop the freemium model and push for quality over quantity.

    Reply

    • HvR

      June 4, 2013 at 11:51

      I like the demo model, give me one or two free levels to get a feel and make sure it runs smoothly on my hardware. That is how rubicon got my money for great little wargame.

      It is very hard to get the right balance with microtransactions, a few games I’ve purchased coins or money because I could finish it without any in game purchases but I wanted to support the developer.

      Reply

      • Umar Kiiroi Senk?

        June 4, 2013 at 12:01

        The Lite model is very nice I like that too. I know it’s hard for some devs to make money on games and as such they rely on IAP’s, but I mean you have Gameloft that makes it so hard to play Dungeon Hunter 4, because you have to buy potions to heal which makes the game a huge pain to play. They are big enough and well established to sell a full game, but it’s all greed man

        Reply

        • HvR

          June 4, 2013 at 12:07

          It is stupid greed (aka boardroom brain fart) if have to pay more than R5 in an hour of game play I just leave it, if they charged me $10 or $15 (and then I have no problem with optional paid for cosmetics) beforehand they could have had a lot more. With pressure mobile/social-media developers are under I think more people are thinking this way.

          Also (and I’ve mentioned this before) why the hell don;t they port classic (specifically RTS and point and click adventure games) rerelease it on iOS and android for R50 a pop.

          Reply

  3. Sir Twakkus

    June 4, 2013 at 11:38

    It is not that it is a fad, but rather it is a new market which is now following the ATARI saga all over again. The market had a sudden boom in demand, then every development house wants to exploit this new area of income. This results in low quality products flooding the market which causes it too crash in the end. Sad but true.

    Reply

  4. Sandelk

    June 4, 2013 at 11:48

    Mobile Gaming has potential, that it has been flooded by poor quality, unimaginative games that rely on gimmick and not decent game play. Get the games right and this platform will truly flourish.

    Reply

  5. Umar Kiiroi Senk?

    June 4, 2013 at 12:05

    Example of a High quality game and I don’t regret paying over a R100 for this game. This is the potential of mobile, that not many devs seem to be tapping into…Very sad

    Reply

  6. Johan du Preez

    June 4, 2013 at 14:53

    I feel sorry for the people loosing their jobs but as far as Zynga goes “good riddance”

    Reply

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