I'm playing the world's smallest violin.
I hadn't really heard anything on the Zynga front for quite some time, although I'll admit that I'm not actively looking for news from the company, mostly because I've made my stance on them pretty clear. When things got quiet I assumed that perhaps they had simply stabilized and were now simply going along neither being a dramatic failure or a huge success. However, it seems that I was quite wrong in that assessment.
While I don't care much for Zynga, it is pretty sad that this week they have ended up laying off almost 20% of their employees; a total of 520 staff workers. As that article mentions, multiple studios are also closing down because of this. That's a lot of people who had jobs the day before and now don't. It has become quite clear that the company isn't the golden child that it used to be considered as. I can safely say that for the most part they really only have themselves and their abhorrent business practices to blame for the situation they've gotten themselves into.
That isn't even the end of Zynga's troubles though, because less than a day after that first piece of news came down the pipe, it was followed by yet another awful proclamation. OMGPOP, the creators of the popular Draw Something game, were yet another victim of the closures and downsizing that Zynga made. Considering that Zynga acquired the developer only a little over a year ago and paid something to the tune of $200 million dollars for it, the fact that it's being shut down is not a promising sign whatsoever.
While most of the employees were civil about what they chose as departing words, former OMGPOP VP Ali Nicolas likely expressed thoughts that a lot of people had on their minds when she tweeted the following: "I learned via Facebook I was laid off today and @OMGPOP office is
closed. Thanks @zynga for again reminding me how not to operate a
Perhaps the only high point out of all of this is the fact that people who used to work for Zynga can now find jobs with companies that will hopefully be better than the one they were actually at. This article ends on a high note by stating that, "I had drinks with a few now ex-Zynga’ers last night, most of whom were
surprisingly upbeat about the whole thing. “The severance is enough to
hold me over for a while,” said one “but most of my team had new jobs
lined up by the time they left the building anyway.”"
Of course not everyone is going to be so lucky I would assume. With such a large amount of people suddenly displaced I can't say that all of them will instantly be going back into the workforce, as poor of a thought as that stands to be.
Although I feel sorry for the people, I can't really go on the record as saying that I think Zynga deserves anything other than what's happening to them. As a "game" company their practices have been revolting, their products made to ensnare rather than entertain, and their attitudes in need of the sound pounding that they're on the receiving end of at the moment. For anyone that lost their job, you have my sympathy. But look at it this way: there's practically nowhere to go but up from here.