Zynga kills 13 games, proposes closure of UK and Japan offices

Zynga kills 13 games, proposes closure of UK and Japan offices
Michael French

By Michael French

October 23rd 2012 at 11:01PM

Social games giant streamlining operations to 'make Zynga into an internet treasure'

Just hours after Zynga swiftly shut down its Boston studio, the publisher has confirmed further 'streamlining'.

The news was relayed to staff in a company-wide memo by CEO Mark Pincus which Zynga public relations reps also shared with the press.

Specifically, the firm plans to 

- Close down 13 of its games 

- Shut the Boston studio

- Propose the closure of its UK and Japan studios

- Cut down staff numbers in Austin

- Reduce the rest of its workforce by five percent 

- Significantly cut back the resource around its controversial The Ville, which EA claims is a direct copy of The Sims Social

- Reduce spending on data hosting, advertising and outside services, primarily contractors

The full statement from Pincus reads:

Earlier today we initiated a number of changes to streamline our operations, focus our resources on our most strategic opportunities, and invest in our future. We waited to share this news with all of you until we had first spoken with the groups impacted.         

As part of these changes, we’ve had to make some tough decisions around products, teams and people.  I want to fill you in on what's happened and address any concerns you may have. 

Here are the most important details. 

We are sunsetting 13 older games and we’re also significantly reducing our investment in The Ville.

We are closing the Zynga Boston studio and proposing closures of the Zynga Japan and UK studios.  Additionally, we are reducing staffing levels in our Austin studio.  All of these represent terrific entrepreneurial teams, which make this decision so difficult.

In addition to these studios, we are also making a small number of partner team reductions.  

In all, we will unfortunately be parting ways with approximately 5% of our full time workforce.  We don’t take these decisions lightly as we recognize the impact to our colleagues and friends who have been on this journey with us.  We appreciate their amazing contributions and will miss them.

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.

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 made social gaming and play a worldwide phenomenon, and we remain the industry leader.  Our success has come from our dedication to a simple and powerful proposition – that play is not just something people do to pass time, it’s a core need for every person and culture.

We will all be discussing these difficult changes more with our teams and as a company.  Tomorrow, Dave and I will be hosting a post-earnings webcast (details to follow) and next week we will be discussing our broader vision and strategy during our quarterly all-hands meeting.  I’m confident this puts us on the right path to deliver on the promise of social gaming and make Zynga into an internet treasure.