Social gaming has become an incredible force in the video game industry, and though Zynga had been riding among the highest on its crest of popularity that success proved to be too much of a good thing: Thanks to investors backing out for fear of the developer's stock becoming bloated Zynga's share price has plummeted, and now in order to stay afloat drastic steps are being taken for damage control.
Company CEO Mark Pincus set forth a cost-reduction plan in October consisting of a series of layoffs (with a final number over 100), office closings, dropping contracting deals, and over the course of the last month shutting down a total of thirteen games. Some of these games remained wildly popular up to their deactivation, and in compensation for the potential hundreds of hours per player lost Zynga offered players of some of their discontinued games complementary bonus packages for its remaining flagship games CastleVille, ChefVille, FarmVille 2, Mafia Wars, or YoVille.
Below is the full list of game closings as first reported by TechCrunch:
PetVille – Shut down December 30th
Mafia Wars 2 - Shut down December 30th
FishVille – Shut down December 5th
Vampire Wars – Shut down December 5th
Treasure Isle – Shut down December 5th
Indiana Jones Adventure World – Closed to new players, shuts down January 14th
Mafia Wars Shakedown – Pulled from app stores
Forestville – Pulled from app stores
Montopia – Shut down December 21st
Mojitomo – Pulled from app stores
Word Scramble Challenge – Pulled from app stores
Between the above-listed closings and the loss of both CFO Dave Wehner and its contract with Facebook in November, Zynga's future is looking decidedly rocky. Publicly the developer remains optimistic that its newfound freedom from a binding contract will allow it greater flexibility, but time will tell whether this independence will prove to be a blessing or a curse.