Last night the creators of Farmville and other Facebook games received a wake-up call as financial woes have already resulted layoffs and more are expected to come.
Zynga, the company behind some of social networking’s most popular games including Farmville, Cityville and Words with Friends, was forced to scrap 13 of its titles last night after stock prices continued to crash.
The chief executive and founder of Zynga, Mark Pincus issued a statement outlining the cutbacks.
“We are sunsetting 13 older games and we’re also significantly reducing our investment in the Ville…in all, we will unfortunately be parting ways with approximately five per cent of our full time workforce.
"We don’t take these decisions lightly as we recognise the impact to our colleagues and friends who have been on this journey with us. We appreciate their amazing contributions and will miss them.”
Part of the reason Zynga has suffered is because they are still tangled in a dispute with EA, who are suing the company for allegedly ripping off The Sims Social.
But EA second in charge Peter Moore told Eurogamer he gets no joy from seeing the company in strife.
“We always feel bad when people lose their jobs. Our hope is certainly the locations I’ve read online, those folks can get re-employed pretty quickly.”
And although he’s all kind words, he’s optimistic about the future of social gaming – and EA’s ability to capitalise on that.
“I think it just got a little overhyped. And now the demise is being overhyped the opposite way. I still think there’s a strong place for social gaming…we feel well positioned to take advantage of that. And people shouldn’t read too much into whatever is going on with Zynga.”
In the meantime, the future of Zynga remains to be seen – could this be the end of Farmville as we know it?