Zynga Laying Off 18% of Workforce, Scaling Back on Games

The future isn’t looking too bright for Zynga. Although once considered an unstoppable juggernaut in the gaming world and a sure-thing investment, the mobile developer quickly hit hard times that it’s been struggling to recover from. Although its stock reached a trading price of near $15 upon going public, it quickly plummeted to the $2 range and hasn’t gone above $5 in the past year. When things started going south, the company demoted its CEO, Mark Pincus, to CPO and brought in former Microsoft and EA executive, Don Mattrick. Last month saw the departure of Mattrick and a reinstatement of Pincus, which seemed to signal a scramble trying to get things back on track.

The bad news continues today as the developer has announced that they will be cutting 18% of their work force — 364 people — and shifting its focus to five categories of mobile games instead of branching out into more genres.

The five categories are Racing, Casual, Social Casino, Invest & Express, and Action-Strategy and will include such hits as FarmVille, CSR Racing and Words With Friends.

The layoffs come as a restructuring initiative expected to save upwards of $100 million.