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Zynga closing Baltimore studio

CityVille 2 developer shuttered as three other studios folded into nearby counterparts

Zynga's ongoing restructuring has claimed three more studios. As reported by VentureBeat, Zynga Baltimore has been closed outright, with a handful of the social gaming giant's other operations consolidated into nearby sister studios. Zynga COO David Ko provided a statement confirming the report to GamesIndustry International.

"In an effort to leverage resources as we focus on creating franchises and driving profitability, Zynga has made changes to four of our US offices," Ko said. "We are closing the McKinney, Texas and downtown Austin offices and relocating those teams near-by to our existing Dallas and North Austin offices. And, we will be consolidating our NYC offices to move staff to our NYC mobile studio. Also, as a part of today's changes, the Baltimore studio will be closed. While these decisions are always difficult, these steps will affect approximately 1 percent of our workforce and enable us to focus our resources on the most significant growth opportunities."

Going by Zynga's most recent employee headcount, the 1 percent figure would put the number of layoffs around 30 employees.

The closure of the Baltimore and McKinney studios came after departures of high-profile developers at both locations. Last month, Zynga Baltimore founder Brian Reynolds left the company, and the following week the company said it would be discontinuing CityVille 2, which it had just launched during the previous quarter. As for the McKinney-based Zynga With Friends studio (known as Newtoy until its 2010 acquisition), it was the original developer of Words With Friends, and saw co-founders Paul and David Bettner jump ship in October.

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Latest comments (9)

John Pickford Owner, Zee 33 years ago
What does Bruce think?
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Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D3 years ago
Bruce has been extremely quiet recently. I wonder why?
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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters3 years ago
I'd rather just forget about him. Commiserations to those losing their jobs, hope they land on their feet.
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Show all comments (9)
Fran Mulhern , Recruit3D3 years ago
@ Dave - fair point, and my bad for not focusing on what really matters. Well said.
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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 3 years ago
Honestly, Im sad for many of the employee's losing there jobs but aside from that enjoying Zynga's downfall. Really hated how they copied, and stole other video game IP. Bought anyone who may have given them any competition and shut them down. They did so many things that I disliked that I would like to see them go the way of THQ. The huge difference is, that the fall of THQ was very sad, since I was a fan of many of there games. Finally I hated all the comments and reports of people saying social and mobile gaming were the future and consoles were going the way of the dinosaur... seriously zynga... good riddens.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Rick Lopez on 26th February 2013 1:58pm

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Anthony Gowland Consulting F2P Game Designer, Ant Workshop3 years ago
Bought anyone who may have given them any competition and shut them down.
Yeah, mean Zynga buying all those companies that didn't want to sell. Oh wait.
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John Pickford Owner, Zee 33 years ago
I don't know. "Sell up or we'll clone your product and kill your business" might be seen as a tad agressive.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by John Pickford on 26th February 2013 3:35pm

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Rick Lopez Illustrator, Graphic Designer 3 years ago
They could have bought those companies and made something good of them, and if they didnt give in and sell, zynga would probably have cloned their products anyway. Lots of companies buy smaller game studios or mergers may occur that result in better games and those companies growing and making better products. But Zynga simply did anything and everything to crush the compitition. And for alot of companies selling may have been the best choice short term. But long term, who knows where those companies would be had they not sold there IP. And Zynga made a business of cloning and copying other game ideas. Using other ideas is ok, but not to the point where the games are almost exactly the same.
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David Amirian Writer 3 years ago
Zynga overspent, and whoever sold their companies to them did the right thing in cashing in on Zynga's stupidity. I'd be surprised if Zynga even stays around past this year.
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