UPDATE: Zynga provided us with an internal note from CEO Mark Pincus, in which he confirms the company has laid off about 5 percent of its full time workforce. Zynga has closed its Boston studio and significantly reduced itspresencein Austin, and is considering closing its UK and Japan offices. It also plans to reduce its investment in TheVille and "sunset" 13 older games. The original story follows below.
Zynga may have laid off a hundred or more employees today, multiple sources are reporting. GamaSutra reports it spoke with an affected employee, who said the social gaming giant gave a substantial portion of its Austin employees pink slips. The company may even be shutting down or shrinking operations in Boston and Chicago.
Teams responsible for the development of TheVille and Zynga Bingo at Zynga's Austin studios were allegedly targeted--both of which have recently seen slipping monthly average user counts, TechCrunch adds. Another inside source told TechCrunch that some employees remain at the offices while others were given two-hour notices, and that mobile developers have been mostly unaffected as Zynga plans to shift focus to the growing platform.
The extent of the alleged layoffs is not known, but their timing did line up perfectly with with Apple's headline-dominating keynote presentation revealing, among other things, the new iPads.
We have reached out to Zynga for comment on the reports and what the layoffs would mean for the affected games (as well as the pending lawsuit over TheVille with Electronic Arts), and will update the story if and when we hear back.