Zynga layoffs hit

It looks like one of the casualties of today’s restructuring at Zynga was star-crossed studio OMGPOP.

All Things D reported earlier today that among the offices the Zynga is closing in its layoffs is its New York office, where OMGPOP was based. A post on the Twitter account of OMGPOP stated that “this is the last day for at (Zynga) for many (OMGPOP) staff.

Meanwhile, Joseph Alminawi, a senior community manager at Zynga who worked in the New York office and came to the company with the OMGPOP acquisition last year, said on Twitter that he and “most of the studio” had been laid off today.

Zynga spokeswoman Michelle Kramer declined to confirm or deny whether Zynga is shutting down OMGPOP.

OMGPOP developed the “Draw Something” game for mobile devices, a game similar to Pictionary. It was so popular after it launched last year that it reportedly attracted some 50 million downloads in its first 50 days on the market.

Zynga purchased OMGPOP soon after “Draw Something” took off, paying $183.1 million in cash.

But the purchase has turned into a boondoggle for Zynga. The number of consumers playing the game fell markedly after Zynga acquired it, and the company struggled to make money off the game. Last fall, Zynga wrote off $95.5 million of the purchase of OMGPOP. In April, Dan Porter, the former CEO of OMGPOP, left Zynga.

The apparent shutdown of OMGPOP is part of a larger restructuring announced today by Zynga. The company is laying off 18 percent of its staff and closing various offices, including those in Dallas and Los Angeles, according to All Things D.


Troy Wolverton Troy Wolverton (296 Posts)

Troy writes the Tech Files column as the Personal Technology Columnist at the San Jose Mercury News. He also covers the digital media, mobile and video game industries and writes occasionally about Apple, chips, social networking and other aspects of technology. Previously, Troy covered Apple and the consumer electronics industry. Prior to joining the Mercury News, Troy reported on technology, business and financial issues for TheStreet.com and CNET News.com.