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Zynga lays off 520 employees, closes several offices in hopes of saving up to $80 million

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Zynga today announced that it's laying off 520 employees, with the cuts affecting 18 percent of its workforce around the world. The company is also shuttering offices in Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas as part of what it's calling "substantial cost reductions." These reductions are expected to be complete by August. Describing today as "a hard day for Zynga" CEO Mark Pincus said, "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."

Pincus says employees affected by the firings will receive "generous severance packages that reflect our appreciation for all of their work." Zynga expects the difficult decision to save the company between $70 million and $80 million. The deep cuts are the latest step Zynga is taking to combat plunging earnings and an exodus of active users. For all the troubling signs, Pincus seems to think his company is ultimately on the right course. "I’m confident that our strategy of building leading franchises and supporting them with the largest network is the right one for the long term. The CEO said he's found "recent progress" encouraging, pointing to Running with Friends, County Fair, and the company's FarmVille franchise as highlights.