Zynga is in trouble. Many touted the casual developer the next Facebook (for some ludicrous reason), making the market a stir in anticipation of Zynga’s IPO. Unfortunately, just a year later, shares are sitting at $2.36, down 76.4% from the initial $10 asking price. After laying off 100 employees (2/3s of its Austin branch) and shutting down their Boston offices in October, things looked bleak for the once-lucrative gaming company.
Soon after, Zynga announced that they were “sunsetting” 13 older games from their library and reducing investment in “The Ville”. That has come to fruition this month, culminating in yesterday’s surprising shut down of the popular PetVille, stating on Facebook:
Greetings PetVille players,
Thank you for supporting PetVille and for being a loyal player! We’re sorry to inform you that PetVille will be shutting down on Dec 30, 2012. In place of PetVille, we encourage you to play other Zynga games like Castleville, Chefville, Farmville 2, Mafia Wars and Yoville.
We appreciate your participation in PetVille as it helped make the game a fun place to meet and war with friends. As a loyal PetVille player, you are eligible for a one-time, complimentary bonus package in one of either Castleville, or Chefville, or Farmville 2, or Mafia Wars or Yoville. You can start the process by logging into PetVilleand clicking on the “Redeem” button. Please note that this offer will be valid only until Dec 30, 2012
Log in here -> http://zynga.tm/cKw
Thank you for your time in PetVille. We look forward to seeing you again in other Zynga games.
The PetVille team
It’s a surprising move for a game that has 7.5 million likes on Facebook, but apparently interest has dwindled, with just 60,000 reported users active in a day. While it seems like keeping an already-established game live wouldn’t be cost prohibitive, Zynga has stated that they need to consolidate their workforce into more currently-succesful projects and future endeavors, including mobile games and real-money gambling games in Nevada.
Other games shutdown this month include Mafia Wars 2, FishVille, Vampire Wars, Treasure Isle, Mafia Wars Shakedown, Forestville, Montopia, Mojitomo and World Scramble Challenge.
With Zynga’s future cloudy, the only thing ensured is that no longer will we be berated with “Ville” and “Mafia Wars” requests — something to be thankful for.