Staff at Draw Something developer suggest employees have been let go

Report: Zynga closes $200m studio OMGPOP

Zynga looks to have closed Draw Something developer OMGPOP as part of its company wide restructuring plans, according to reports from staff at the studio.

Yesterday it emerged that the social gaming outfit laid off 520 employees across the entire firm in a bid to save around $70-to-£80 million in staff costs.

Sources “close to the situation” also told AllThingsD that as well as the mass redundancies, it would also be closing its offices in Los Angeles, Dallas and New York, the latter of which is where OMGPOP was based.

The studio’s official Twitter account states that yesterday was the last day for many of the staff at the studio.

As spotted by The Verge, Zynga New York senior community manager said that he had been part of the company’s mass layoffs, along with most of the studio.

Another exec at the company, Ali Nicolas, said she had learned through Facebook that she had been laid off and the OMGPOP office was closed.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>While this is the last day at @<a href="">zynga</a> for many @<a href="">omgpop</a> staff, we want to thank you for all love and awesomeness over the years!</p>&mdash; omgpop (@omgpop) <a href="">June 3, 2013</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>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…</p>&mdash; Joseph Alminawi (@swiftor) <a href="">June 3, 2013</a></blockquote>
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<blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p>I learned via Facebook I was laid off today and @<a href="">omgpop</a> office is closed. Thanks @<a href="">zynga</a> for again reminding me how not to operate a business</p>&mdash; Ali Nicolas (@ali_nicolas) <a href="">June 3, 2013</a></blockquote>
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Zynga has yet to comment on the studio’s reported closure.

Fall from grace

OMGPOP shot to fame in March last year as Draw Something become an App Store sensation, with Pictionary-style game raking in $100,000 a day from some 30 million users for its creators. The title was such a success, that it dethroned Zynga as the top game on Facebook.

Not to be outdone on its own turf, Zynga swooped in to purchase the company for a reported $210 million ($180m plus £30m to retain key staff). The game continued to break records, accruing 50 million downloads by the start of April.

By May however, Draw Something’s popularity was in steep decline, losing five million daily average users in the space of a month, around 33 per cent of its daily userbase. It later came clear that the purchase had begun to weigh down the company’s finances as it struggled to recoup its layout.

In April this year, Draw Something founder Dan Porter left the studio on the even of the release of Draw Something 2, which has since failed to capture the public’s imagination as the first instalment did. No reasons were given for his departure.

It now appears the entire studio has been closed.

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