Gaming company Zynga has decided to discontinue 11 of its games. CEO Mark Pincus, who gave $1 million to Super PAC Priorities USA, can add this development to a résumé that saw him named the fourth worst CEO of 2012.
Executing the cost-reduction plan CEO Mark Pincus announced in November, Zynga has shut down, pulled from the app stores, or stopped accepting new players to 11 games, with some turning off today. The gaming giant will reallocate resources to more successful titles as well as creating new ones. Along with layoffs, the shutdowns are part of the hard road to recovery for Zynga.
The San Francisco-based company had overextended itself. During its heyday on Facebook it built dozens of games, then aggressively launched mobile games as smartphones gained popularity. It didn’t seem like a problem when the company was preparing for a big IPO.
The Zynga board also includes President Barack Obama’s biggest donor, DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg. Katzenberg was added to increase the company’s credibility before it went public.
The addition has not turned out to be enough for the failing gaming company. Pincus announced major layoffs in October 2012 in a memo to employees alerting them that five percent of the company would be receiving pink slips.
Tech Crunch also reports that the abrupt discontinuation of games such as PetVille is proving to be a devastating blow to its devoted users.
These shutdowns might not seem like a big deal to everyone, but they were near cataclysmic for some players who pumped countless hours and dollars into these games. If you’d spent years tending your virtual aquarium only to have it disappear, you can imagine how disappointed or angry you’d be. Comments from gamers on the shutdown notices included things like "my daughter is heartbroken" and "Please don’t remove petville. I been playing for 4 yrs. and I’M going to miss my pet Jaime … why do you want cause depression for me and others. Why do you want to kill my pet?"
Zynga offered the loyal PetVille players a "one-time, complimentary bonus package in one of either Castleville, Chefville, Farmville 2, Mafia Wars, or Yoville" as a show of good faith.