One year ago, Zynga paid $180 million for OMGPOP, the creator of the wildly popular game Draw Something for iOS and Android. Zynga seems to have decided that was a $180 million mistake. After directly writing off up to $95 million of OMGPOP last October, it now appears that Zynga is completely shutting down the studio — among other divisions — in an attempt to save $80 million more.
As we reported earlier this afternoon, Zynga is laying off 520 employees, a full 18 percent of its global workforce, and reportedly shutting down offices in Los Angeles, Dallas, and New York. What we didn't realize is that OMGPOP is Zynga New York.
Now, OMGPOP's official Twitter account and some of its staffers are unsurprisingly tweeting that they're out of work, including community manager Joseph Alminawi and VP of outreach Ali Nicolas.
Thanks for the concern everyone. Yep, I've been laid off (along with most of the studio). I'll share more details soon after I do my exit...— Joseph Alminawi (@swiftor) June 3, 2013
Former OMGPOP CEO and Draw Something creator Dan Porter left the company last month, after more or less accusing his employer Zynga of copying games from others.
Zynga's clearly in much larger trouble than merely not making good use of its OMGPOP acquisition, as its latest metrics show, but it's still strange to see the Draw Something studio squashed after so public an acquisition and so quickly after releasing Draw Something 2.
Thanks, Scott B!