Mobile game giant Zynga once reigned supreme on the world of on-the-go casual gaming. At its peak in 2012, the San Francisco-based company was pulling in $1.3 billion in revenue and boasted a work force 3,000 strong. But with Zynga’s marquee titles, such as FarmVille, dipping in popularity and new games not grabbing a share of the market, the company has been forced to restructure and make some serious cuts.
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus announced in a release that the company was cutting 364 jobs in a bid to save money. The announcement also highlighted the closure of several Zynga games and an emphasis on refocusing on core genres. Pincus stressed that these cuts should not be seen as a negative; instead, the restructuring reaffirms Zynga’s commitment to making good games, with Pincus stating:
“For our people, we need to create an empowered, entrepreneurial culture that fosters more creativity and innovation. Over the years we’ve seen that tighter, more nimble teams drive faster innovation and deliver more player value.”
The announcement boasts that the layoffs would ultimately save the company $45 million, and further changes were estimated to save Zynga an additional $55 million before the third quarter of 2016. Zynga was quick to admit that the job losses looked desperate, with 364 people equating to about 18 percent of their workforce. But with the fat trimmed, the company could now focus on improving their games.
Zynga has decided to focus their efforts on releasing better products, opting to shut struggling games such as CityVille down, and with the year-old Zynga Sports 365 studio being shuttered. From here on out, Pincus stated that Zynga would focus its efforts on five game categories: Action Strategy, Social Casino, Invest & Express, Casual, and Racing.
Zynga reported a loss of $46.5 million in the first quarter of 2015, but the company remains optimistic about the future, announcing that the long in development strategy-fantasy game Dawn of Titans was due for release soon, with an additional 6 to 8 games planned to launch in 2015.
This corporate reshuffling comes after the departure of former Xbox CEO Don Mattrick, who was only with Zynga for two years but guided the company into some choppy waters, with stock prices dropping to an all time low under his tenure. Pincus, who co-founded Zynga, was then called back up to head the company, leading to the former CEO springing into action to save the sinking ship.
Zynga has experienced an unprecedented downfall as of late, so a lot is riding on Pincus’ shake-up to put the company back on its feet. Zynga has never been a company associated with producing good games, but this Hail Mary could be the kick start the company needs.