Layoffs hit Zynga Boston, Austin, and Chicago studios, possible closures [Rumor]

Update: TechCrunch’s sources are reporting that Zynga’s Boston studio has been shut down, and 2/3 of staff at their Austin studio have been laid off. We’re still awaiting confirmation from Zynga.

Though not yet confirmed, word around the web is that Zynga’s studios in Boston, Austin and Chicago were hit with massive layoffs earlier today, and possibly shut down for good.

A Tweet from Troy Gilbert — developer of Dumbhack — reads: “Have confirmed that Zynga Austin has laid off entire The Ville and Bingo teams, leaving just Slots team. Gross.” There’s less proof out there that the Boston and Chicago studios have been affected, but it would make sense for Zynga to do it all in one fell swoop. In the same vein, many folks on Twitter are accusing Zynga of trying to bury the news by doing it during the same time as Apple’s highly-anticipated iPad Mini reveal. It’s impossible to confirm either way, but it’s certainly peculiar timing.

Kevin Drew of Underground Pixel reached out to us to weigh in on the situation:

“I can safely say that it’s pretty low for them, although it’s not all that surprising. These are the people who enjoy cloning other peoples’ games for profit and then flat-out denying it, only to then sue other people claiming that they’re the ones getting ripped off! I lost all respect for Zynga a while ago, but I’m never shocked to see them in the news over and over again doing things like this. Firing 100 people while an Apple event livestream drags on just to avoid press coverage? Only Zynga.”

We’ll be sure to keep an eye out for an official statement from Zynga, and we’re currently reaching out to a source who can confirm the extent of the layoffs. And as always, our hearts go out to those who lost their jobs today.

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