Zynga lays off 18% of its staff, "necessary to move forward," says CEO

Katie Williams at

We've come a long way from Zynga's farm-planning heydays. Following last year's closure of three Zynga studios and the subsequent discontinuation of eleven browser-based titles, Zynga continues to downsize. Maybe it's about time to admit that taking "inspiration" from other games just isn't that profitable after all. The official reason for the layoffs, says founder and CEO Mark Pincus, is so that Zynga can focus more on "mobile and multiplatform" gaming.

Pincus today broke the news via an email to his employees, purportedly replicated in full over on the Zynga blog.

"I think we all know this is necessary to move forward," says Pincus. "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."

Until today, Zynga had some 2,900 workers to its name. 520 employees have been given the boot, and in a report on All Things D, it seems the majority of those layoffs will come from the New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles offices, which are closing down. Somewhat confusingly, Pincus mentions that FarmVille and its recently-introduced County Fair feature have drawn in 39 million players monthly "despite only being available on the web," but apparently that's not profitable enough.