Struggling game developer Zynga lays off hundreds

There may not be as many farmhands available to harvest the crops for struggling Facebook game developer Zynga.

The company—most famous for games like Farmville and Words With Friends—reportedly carried out hundreds of layoffs in Austin, Chicago and Cambridge on Tuesday.

The news broke unceremoniously when former Apple, Sony, and Mint designer Justin Maxwell tweeted during Apple’s Tuesday press event that more than 100 Zynga employees in Austin, Texas, had arrived at work only to be given two hours to vacate the premises. TechCrunch, which later confirmed Maxwell’s tweet, also reported the company’s Cambridge, Mass., office would be closed entirely. There were also an undisclosed number of layoffs at the company’s Chicago office.

The teams let go were responsible for TheVille and Zynga Bingo, according to Maxwell. The former was a just-launched world-building game not unlike The Sims—so similar, in fact, that Sims maker Electronic Arts filed suit in August claiming copyright violations.

After seeing revenues decline rapidly—the company’s stock price has tumbled this year—Zynga has been forced to cut costs in the wake of increased competition and as users gravitate toward mobile platforms. (Indeed, Zynga CEO Marc Pincus spoke at the D10 conference in May about the challenges the company faced on the mobile front.)

Zynga was hammered by investors after a disappointing quarterly earnings report in July, which is likely prompting the once-promising startup to trim its workforce.

Zynga reports its latest quarterly earnings Wednesday.

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