Los Angeles Business Journal

L.A. Gaming Studios Snatching Zynga Employees

By Natalie Jarvey Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It looks like Zynga’s loss is becoming L.A. tech’s gain.

Following Monday’s report that San Francisco social gaming company Zynga has laid off 18 percent of its workforce and shuttered several offices – including its L.A. outpost – several local gaming companies have already swooped in to snatch up available engineers.

Mobile gaming publisher Scopely tweeted yesterday evening that it would offer a free trip to visit one of the Seven Wonders of the World to anyone who helped a Zynga developer from Los Angeles or New York land a job at the firm.

Scopely has already snagged a number of former Zynga employees to grow its team over the last year.

Other local entrepreneurs and gaming companies took to Facebook and Twitter to express interest in the recently unemployed Zynga developers.

Meanwhile, Beverly Hills mobile game developer SGN announced yesterday that it had added some former Zynga employees to its San Francisco office.

Zynga, which shot to fame when it launched Facebook game FarmVille, has struggled since completing its initial public offering. Its early games were primarily built for Facebook, but mobile games have become more popular. Zynga has been making mobile games, but they haven’t been as successful.

The company said Monday that it had laid off 520 employees in an effort to reduce costs and restructure its troubled business. In addition to closing its L.A. office in Marina del Rey, the public company also announced that it would close its New York and Dallas offices. Zynga reportedly employed about 55 in Los Angeles.