Zynga puts its San Francisco HQ up for sale

Zynga HQ

FarmVille developer Zynga, the former casual gaming colossus that at one point had an estimated market value of around $10 billion, has suffered numerous losses and layoffs over the past several years. And now it's come to this: According to a report on SFist, the company has put its San Francisco headquarters up for sale.

It was actually an expected move—Fortune reported on the possibility earlier this month—and if the sale goes through, Zynga will no doubt make a bundle. The Registry says it bought the property for $228 million in 2007, which works out to roughly $340 per square foot, while current market values now run in excess of $800 per square foot. And Zynga doesn't plan to abandon the building entirely, as VentureBeat reports that the plan is to sell the building and then take out a long-term lease with the buyer so it can maintain its operations on site.

Even so, the optics of putting your headquarters on the block in order to raise cash and keep antsy investors from bolting are not good, especially in light of the company's glaring inability to duplicate the success of FarmVille, which is now almost seven year old. Zynga isn't on the cusp of collapse just yet; it's still sitting on a big pile of cash, and its share price has stabilized over the past year at a little above $2, although it dropped rather sharply earlier this month. But that's a lot closer to zero than the heady, $14-per-share days of early 2012, and while more cash is always good, it's not a solution to a problem that Zynga has thus far shown so signs of being able to address.

Thanks, Gamasutra.

Update: The original headline for this article stated that Zynga had been "forced" to put its headquarters up for sale. The company has clarified that this is a "voluntary exploration" of sales opportunities, and so I've changed the headline accordingly.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.