Zynga Cuts 100 Workers in Austin

Online game maker Zynga cut 5 percent of its workforce or 150 employees Tuesday.
Zynga reportedly laid off 100 Austin employees, nearly its entire local workforce.
The game maker is “sunsetting 13 older games and we’re also significantly reducing our investment in The Ville,” Zynga’s CEO Mark Pincus wrote in a memo to employees, posted to the company’s blog.
Zynga also closed its Boston studio and is proposing closing studios in Japan and the United Kingdom. It also cut 100 employees in Austin and reportedly gave them just two hours to clear out their desks and vacate the office.
“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 wrote. “These reductions, along with our ongoing efforts to implement more stringent budget and resource allocation around new games and partner projects, will improve our profitability and allow us to reinvest in great games and our Zynga network on web and mobile.”
Zynga, founded in 2007 by Pincus, is the most popular gaming platform on Facebook. The company reports 60 million people play its games daily which include Words with Friends, Farmville and Mafia Wars.
On June 3, 2010, Zynga acquired Challenge Games in Austin for $20.5 million, according to Crunchbase, and hired its 35 employees and renamed it Zynga Austin. Challenge Games’ Co-Founder CEO, Andrew Busey, became its general manager and vice president. But he eventually left Zynga in September of 2011 and now serves as a partner in Austin Ventures.

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