Zynga fires 18 per cent of workforce, vows refocus on mobility

Social gaming publisher Zynga has announced it will lay off 18 per cent of its total workforce

Social gaming publisher Zynga announced Monday that it will lay off 18% of its total workforce -- more than 500 employees -- in an effort to reduce staff costs and focus on the mobile sector.

Founder and CEO Mark Pincus said in an official blog post that the cuts will be felt across the company and that today "is a hard day for Zynga."

[ MORE TECH LAYOFFS:Cisco lays off 500]

"None of us ever expected to face a day like today, especially when so much of our culture has been about growth. But I think we all know this is necessary to move forward. The scale that served us so well in building and delivering the leading social gaming service on the Web is now making it hard to successfully lead across mobile and multiplatform, which is where social games are going to be played," he wrote.

Zynga was founded in 2007, profited mightily from a partnership with Facebook, and eventually went public in late 2011. However, despite being the biggest and most prominent social gaming company in the world, Zynga has endured a rough last couple of years.

The Facebook partnership ended roughly two months ago. The company's stock price currently sits at $3, down from a peak of more than $14 during its best months, in early 2012. It's been sued several times over intellectual property issues -- to wit, other developers have accused Zynga of simply copying their games -- and some question whether mainstays like FarmVille and Mafia Wars can keep the company profitable indefinitely.

AllThingsD says that the layoffs will save Zynga $80 million in expenditures and close down offices in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Email Jon Gold at jgold@nww.com and follow him on Twitter at @NWWJonGold.

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