Although it once looked as though Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ:ZNGA) was poised to revive OMGPOP, the popular game developer that entertained millions of gamers with its popular ‘Draw Something’ app, it now appears that it is instead “lights out” for the OMGPOP team, as Zynga has officially announced the game developer’s death.
Zynga has been working on a corporate structure overhaul ever since its former chief executive officer Mark Pincus left his successful startup earlier this summer taking out almost $200 million in stock. While the company initially saw great success with its Farmville following on Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), the social gaming site has been facing a downward spiral ever since its initial public offering in 2011.
Now, Zynga is focusing on resurrecting sales success and once again posting profits, but the company is facing an upward battle with a number of disillusioned employees. The social gaming site was already forced to lay off about 18 percent of its employees earlier in the summer — and those who remain are reportedly low on morale and simply trying to make ends meet.
This means actively “[trimming] the fat” as TechCrunch calls it, because in Zynga’s eyes, OMGPOP is the fat that has to be dropped despite OMGPOP team’s pleas to allow the company to buy back what it is still worth. Zynga initially acquired OMGPOP in March 2012 for $200 million, and while OMPOP’s own employees are reportedly pleading with Zynga executives to let them continue running the site, the new CEO Don Mattrick’s team is refusing.
OMGPOP.com will be history come September 30 and some of the site’s most popular games, including Cupcake Corner and Gem Rush, will bite the dust even earlier on August 29. This termination is not only disheartening for OMGPOP’s determined employees, but also the 30,000 users who are still active on the site. These users’ loyalty is what drove the site’s workers to ask Zynga about a return policy, but the social gaming site has firmly stood its ground, fueling speculation over whether the Farmville developer was simply too fearful that OMGPOP would end up surviving on its own and embarrassing Zynga.
Now, Mattrick will work to revive Zynga success sans OMGPOP, as the disheartened team watches the social gaming site draw Xs not only on their jobs, but also their popular games.