Anonymous Internet Men vs Zynga

Lovely friendly smiley Zynga boss Mark Pincus OH WAIT


That’s hacker collective Anonymous’ demand to Farmville makers/financial black hole-creators Zynga. Anonymous – or, at least, someone claiming to represent them – purport to be angered by Zynga’s alleged plans for a “massive layoff of a thousand people” and a move to outsourced development in India. This plan is, I believe, unconfirmed, but one thing’s for sure – Zynga are in a world of money-pain and taking a brutal knife to their headcount, even if they’re still not exactly short of a bob or two. With something of a history of mercenary behaviour, it won’t surprise anyone if more lay-offs are on the way.

So what does Anonymous plan to do in protest? Well, they claim to have been into Zynga’s servers and come back with a load of confidential data, including unreleased games.

Unless Zynga pledges to cease its alleged redundancy/outsourcing plans, Anonymous will gradually release all this stuff. They’ve already made a first salvo public, though it doesn’t appear to contain anything the world doesn’t already know about Zynga, but more stringent action is promised if Zynga does not “cease immediately the plan.”

The… odd English in Anonymous’ open letter/threat (and indeed in their transcript of alleged internal Zynga memos) and the somewhat unfocused nature of their claims and demands raises many questions about what they’ve actually got and how capable they are of realising their goals, but certainly Anonymous has a history of causing huge problems for those they target.

The Internet sure doesn’t like Zynga, and so such an attack was perhaps always just a matter of time. It’s probably no coincdence that it’s been threatened while the Farmville mob are severely weakened and haemorrhaging staff both senior and junior. Let’s hope worried development staff who aren’t behind Zynga’s more unsavoury behaviour aren’t made to suffer for the perceived crimes of their bosses.

You can read Anonymous’ full, strangely-worded letter here, but I’ve pasted perhaps the most salient part of it below.

Zynga customers and Facebook users , We are anonymous . During the last few days anonymous has been targeting Zynga for the outrageous treatment of their employees and their actions against many developers .

We have come to believe that this actions of Zynga will result in massive layoff of a thousand people and legal actions against everyone that speaks to the public about this plan.

It will also come to end of the US game market as we know it as all this jobs will be replaced in other more convenient financial countries.

With a billion dollars cash sitting in a bank we do believe that such actions are an insult to the population and the behaviour of corporations like Zynga must change.

Anonymous could not allow this to happen so it’s starting to release confidential documents we have leaked on this plan

As we speak we are planning to release also all the games we’ve taken from their servers for free.

That being said we will stop the idea of the distribution of such games if Zynga will cease immediately the plan.



  1. Chalky says:


    Or something.

    Hey, at least anonymous seem to be trying to achieve something “good” I guess. I’m not entirely sure Zynga are going to care too much though – didn’t the owner sell of a whole load of stock before it tanked and is now being investigated for insider trading?

    • Kestrel says:

      I must’ve read the article wrong. What “good” is Anon achieving here?

      • Chalky says:

        They’re trying to stop a bunch of people from losing their jobs? From what I read that is their only objective here.

        Misguided as their actions may be, what are you trying to criticise about their intention?

        • Alexrd says:

          How are they stopping people from losing their jobs? Are they going to pay their salary?

          • RedFaust says:

            Hum… Please find another solution so , or maybe you think contacting media and saying “hey we are not happy , do something” is enough ? maybe you should realise that if people don’t stop loosing their job it might even affect your own job.

          • Brun says:

            Caving to blackmail would amount to Zynga signing its own death warrant, which would result in the loss of those jobs anyway.

          • DrGonzo says:

            Zynga can pay their wages, that’s the problem. It comes from concerns of losing a little bit of money for tiny amount of very rich people at the top, at the expense of the livelyhoods of a thousand people.

            They are guessing their threats will cost Zynga quite a bit of money, so it would make more financial sense to keep the employees on.

            So actually, in a way yes, they are going to pay their wages.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            Nice that you know Zynga’s financials, Dr. Gonzo. Perhaps then, since you know that Zynga can pay their employees, you can give us an itemized rundown of expenses. Unless, y’know, you’re completely full of bullshit.

          • Shuck says:

            @stupid_mcgee: It’s public information. Zynga’s revenues are the highest they’ve ever been. It’s their profits that are suffering. So they’re slashing costs, i.e. employees.
            Ironically, friends who work there tell me they’re treated better there than at most of the game companies they’ve worked for (especially compared to EA, for example).

          • Captchist says:

            In a free market society Zynga are free to run their business as they like.

            Even if you disagree with that, and think there should be more control on what they are allowed to do, I think we can probably all agree that some mishmash of morally questionable and unknown internet hackers are not the people we want determining national legal and social policy. We want people with responsibility who are representative and answerable to the public. That’s why we live in a Democracy, not a tyranny run by a group of shadowy individuals.

          • Universal Quitter says:

            First off, focusing on anonymous at all will make you throw the baby out with the bathwater. You shouldn’t ask yourself if Anonymous is good or not, you should ask if they, in spite of themselves, are correct? Let’s just pretend it was an “anonymous tipster” for the sake of argument. Either way, the source isn’t exactly vetted.

            If what they are saying is true, it certainly isn’t illegal for Zynga to secure shareholder profitability by screwing over the working class, but it wouldn’t be wrong for people to talk about it and pressure them not to, either.

            Free-market or not, it comes down to the consumer. If they’re viewed as job-destroyers and profit-whores, they may lose a decent share of the US market, especially given what’s going on over here these days with this stupid election.

            You can’t on one hand promote the free-market, while with the other you give the finger to consumer education and grass roots efforts. It’s not just hypocritical, it’s dangerous to be that ignorant, and be so confident that you are right that you can derisively dismiss people around you. People that are trying to make your world better. At least show a little appreciation instead of hindering efforts with sarcasm and half-thought out logic.

          • Captchist says:

            Trying to make the world better? They are blackmailing a corporation. That isn’t making the world better.

            I don’t agree with how Zynga have apparently handled the situation, but if they feel like the appropriate thing for their business as a whole is to lay off some staff they are entirely within their rights. Blackmailing them doesn’t improve that situation for anybody and it’s laughably naieve for Anonymous to think that they can fix it. The problems with running a successful business are not fixed by blackmail, they are fixed by better leadership of the company and better social and economic policy.

          • Alenthas says:

            Captchist, you’re everything that’s wrong with this world.

            That is all I got to say.

        • Kestrel says:

          Whose jobs are they saving? Layoffs and outsourcing are preferable to an entire company tanking and everyone losing their jobs.

          Although this is Zynga we’re talking about, so maybe we’d all prefer the company goes under? Either way I don’t see what the mouth breathers at Anon HQ are trying to accomplish.

          • DrGonzo says:

            Because it’s very unlikely they will tank. This is to make more money, rather than to keep the business afloat.

          • Chalky says:

            You seem to have some difficulty understand what the phrase “trying to do something good” means. It does not require the thing that they are attempting to do to be practical or likely to work. It does not even require the thing to be not stupid. You’re welcome.

          • Universal Quitter says:

            Edit: Never mind, this was ranty. Statistically speaking, the people with the most lose the least, and the people with the least lose the most.

            Everyone’s kind of accepted that as being the norm, but some people think it’s wrong. I agree with them, even if some of those people are mentally-challenged, bad actors with some flair for organizing DNS attacks.

            It’s counter-productive to tell people that awareness and outrage are bad things. In fact, it makes you look kind of stupid, to be that voice holding back potential progress.

        • Drake Sigar says:

          The letter amounts to this – “Don’t fire people or we’ll hurt you, firing people is bad.” It offers no solutions, is incredibly vague about the ‘outrageous treatment’, and basically reads like an eight year old with no sense of economics trying to blackmail the president into printing everyone in the world ten million bucks each. Companies downsize and lay off employees all the time, I don’t see why Anon should get involved.

          • Brun says:

            Because when Zynga was making 8 trillion dollars on social games, it was front page news. Their slow death spiral has been on page 3. So the popular perception is that Zynga is this super-rich company that is now firing the majority of its workers. To the idealistic, left-extremist 20-something Anon wannabe, that’s “evil.”

          • DrGonzo says:

            I do very much doubt this is anonymous, it’s not very well thought out or written and they are usually quite eloquent. But, laying off 1 thousand ish people to save x amount of money when you could lay of 2 or 3 guys from the top who between them earn A LOT MORE, is not justice or fair. It’s indefensible, abhorrent and any other word you want to describe the lowest form of humanity on this planet.


            It’s not idealistic or leftist. It’s being a decent human being. As I said, the money saved from laying off those people is insignificant compared to laying off those at the top actually responsible for their situation. You would have to be incredibly gullible to actually believe what you just said.

          • Grey Ganado says:

            Anonymous is everyone who wants to be anonymous, there is no de facto group called anonymous.

          • daraujo says:

            @ Dr Gonzo:
            How many assumptions are there in your talk, mate?

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            DrGonzo, stfu. You obviously don’t know shit about the actual financials because all you do is talk in platitudes. You speak of Anonymous as if it is even an actual cohesive or recognizable group. Here’s a pro tip: anyone can claim to be Anonymous. That’s part of what makes Anonymous so powerful. There are official groups within the collective, but it is by no means an official “members only” kind of club.

            Unless you’re going to give numbers, don’t play this game of knowing the financial details of Zynga. Either cite credible and actual information or else can your BS assumptions.

          • Hahaha says:

            “I do very much doubt this is anonymous, it’s not very well thought out or written and they are usually quite eloquent.”

            “Anonymous is everyone who wants to be anonymous, there is no de facto group called anonymous.”

          • orangechef says:

            @stupid_mcgee Actual net income for 3rd quarter 2012 is +$40 million. Officially Zynga reports a loss of $52 million for the quarter, but the reason for the “loss” is a writedown of $92 million of their intangible assets (expected value of intellectual property) related to the management’s overpayment for OMGPOP.

            So the company takes the over-valuation of a management blunder off the books and uses it as an excuse to lay off people. Also the company offered $15 million more in stock compensation to executives in 3rd quarter 2012 vs 2011.

            “Net loss for the third quarter of 2012 included an impairment charge of $95.5 million related to the intangible assets previously acquired in connection with our purchase of OMGPOP. Net loss for the third quarter of 2012 also included $37.8 million of stock-based expense compared to $22.6 million of stock-based expense included in the third quarter of 2011.”

            link to

          • Universal Quitter says:

            Again, all the focus on the letter and anonymous, and none of whether it’s right or wrong, or whether anything can or should be done about. No, considering intangibles is “speaking in platitudes.”

            I feel bad for anyone losing their job, especially if it isn’t their fault. Most subjective attitudes don’t deserve to be inflicted on other people, but I think this is one that does. Strip away anonymous, economics, and whatever else, it seems a lot of people are just kind of self-centered or just don’t give a shit.

            Hey, if you’re generally out for number one, tend to value money over values, and don’t give a shit about strangers, at least be out and proud. Trust me, you have plenty of company.

    • Sarigs says:


      Well it makes more sense that way round at least :-P

    • Underwhelmed says:

      I would hardly call this “good” At best it is misguided, at worst it is just run of the mill, boring old bullying.

  2. spetsky says:

    Its always just one guy who wants to be like all the other cool Anons and is starting his own raid

    • RaveTurned says:

      This was the first thing that crossed my mind also. I’ve seen comments before now saying most people who publicly claim to represent Anonymous probably don’t actually represent Anonymous. Although that assertion is itself somewhat problematic, for obvious reasons. :/

      Also, it’s odd that Anonymous seems riled by Zynga’s plan to fire US workers and employ Indian workers instead. Since when has Anonymous acted in exclusively American interests? There are a bunch of things that Zynga (allegedly) do that clash with the group’s usual ideology, such as it is – why not call those out instead?

      • Brun says:

        Well it does mesh well with their whole 99% “Occupy People That Aren’t Broke” ideology. But it’s also possible that they’re exploiting a target of opportunity – they cracked some of Zynga’s servers and this “plan” is what they got, so they’re going to use it as it’s all they have at the moment.

      • BAshment says:

        It’s just as exploitative to Indian workers, since they are being under paid for the same work.

      • morgofborg says:

        Which is more likely?
        A) Anonymous is so angry about outsourcing they hacked Zynga to obtain confidential documents and source code.
        B) Zynga employee scared of losing job threatens to leak material they have access to in the normal course of said job, under cover of the Anonymous boogeyman

        I know which my money is on.

  3. godofdefeat says:

    ˝and a move to outsourced development in India.˝

    I really do hope that this wont be another Foxconn.

    • faillord_adam says:

      At least computer programs can’t explode, I hope

    • Orija says:

      No, not really, the IT industry in India is relatively alright when it comes to following labour laws, still someone employed in the underbelly of the manufacturing sector would kill to work at a place like Foxconn.

      • DrGonzo says:

        Probably themselves mind you.

        • Orija says:

          Living in a poor, third world country, I’m amused by the western media’s obsession with Foxconn, it’s the Land of Everlasting Sunshine to the shitty conditions factory workers working factories manufacturing for clothing giants work in, let alone the hell that workers of factories producing local stuff work in.

          • chrislemasters says:

            I would agree with you. You’ll be equally impressed with how much pity is spent on the plight of homeless animals in America.

          • Stromko says:

            I think Foxconn is considered so newsworthy because they made Mac products and Mac products primary market is hipsters that pretend to care about the third world.

            That said, I doubt things were very pleasant at all over there, and they certainly didn’t need to be so bad that they drove a bunch of their employees to suicide. We shouldn’t just ignore any human rights abuses that we ourselves are implicated in, no matter how bad things already were in these places.

    • Crimsoneer says:

      God, people’s obcession with Foxconn. IT’s a great factory by Chinese standards.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Did your last visit to the factory finally solidify your opinion?

  4. Jams O'Donnell says:

    So, do we side with Anonymous and their not entirely reasonable activities, or side with Zynga and their not entirely reasonable activities?

    • Rindan says:

      Unless anonymous has become nothing but American nationalist, I think we just assume that a pissed Zynga employee is making a very sad and pathetic attempt to keep his job. I hate to see anyone go out of work, but I am going to cry for these guys about as much as I am going to cry if they ever legalized marijuana and they have to shut down prisons because they can’t keep them full. Sucks you lost your job bro, but you were working for a division of Evil Corp.

  5. Jenks says:

    “we have leaked on this plan”


  6. Chmilz says:

    Fuck off Anonymous, let Zynga crumble.

    Anonymous does some cool shit, but they’re not always right. This is one of those times where they’re not right.

    • Brun says:

      I’m inclined to agree, although the way things are going they will crumble either way. No one will take them seriously once they start churning out low-quality games from India.

      • Boothie says:

        … yes cause the location from where the low quality games are coming matters -.-

        • Brun says:

          It doesn’t, really. “From India” is simply a (purportedly) factual qualification.

      • InternetBatman says:

        Oh, really? Then how do you explain this?

      • Shuck says:

        “the way things are going they will crumble either way”
        The “way things are going” is that Zynga’s revenue keeps increasing. Not exactly the usual sign of decline. If they move a lot of development to India (though I don’t think that’s very likely, frankly), their profits would shoot through the roof.

    • Cooper says:

      Yeah! Fuck Zynga!
      Fuck the poeple who work for Zynga!
      Fuck their families!

  7. Spengbab says:


  8. 1Life0Continues says:

    I’m doubtful.

    Anonymous (or at least the mouthpiece) has, at least in my limited experience, a far better grasp of the English language than this letter. Don’t they also capitalise their ‘organisation’ at every opportunity, given that it’s a proper noun in that case?

    I reserve the right to remain skeptical about this.

    • Boothie says:

      yes seems to have originated from a 13 year old in a basement who has english as a second language ^^ since anonymous has no central leadership or any leadership at all anyone can stamp their name on any message

    • Inigo says:

      because they make the thing
      and we don


      we don’t like the that
      what they doing

      we tell them ot stop
      because then

      thy stop.
      becuse we said to

      and becaus the scare of aononmys

      we have thret
      and they weiil stop plan

      i think



      oh god

      ohgod someone help

      • Maritz says:

        I’m not sure why I found this so funny, but it really tickled me. Thanks!

      • Zarunil says:

        Hahahaha, brilliant! LOL

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Great job!

      • Darth_Pingu says:

        Fantastic. Thank you very much.
        ‘Hit me so hard I had to tell my colleague why I was laughing. And explaining the humour was kinda tricky…

  9. Kestrel says:

    Thank goodness Anonymous is protecting the people of India from having jobs.

  10. MondSemmel says:

    So how does Anonymous actually work? What does it even mean when “hacker collective Anonymous” demands something from someone? Are they even a single, cohesive entity you can mention in that way?
    Are there even any public answers to any of that, beyond “they’re anonymous, duh“?

    • Brun says:

      They’re a very loosely organized group of black hats that conducts illegal operations in support of what is basically an extreme leftist agenda. They’re far from a cohesive entity and there’s a good (at least 50-50) chance that this is just one rogue guy claiming to be part of the group.

      • Kestrel says:

        They’re a bunch of 15-year-olds without much parental supervision.

      • Harlander says:

        basically an extreme leftist agenda

        They’ll never transfer ownership of the means of production to the workers with this kind of weaksauce malarkey.

      • derbefrier says:

        Pretty much this. A bunch of dorm room liberals with no idea of how the world works. Just mindless drones of the leftist agenda. It’s not like this will result in anything except a bunch of the liberals feeling good about themselves, which is the most important part of being liberal. Actual results don’t really matter as long as the intentions are good right?

        • DrGonzo says:

          You agree with the statement that they are ‘extreme leftists’ with the statement ‘yeah they’re just liberals’.

          You sir, are a moron who doesn’t understand what leftist or liberal means.

          Also, I don’t understand why anyone would get the impression they are particularly left. Nothing they have done has suggested that so far. Their agenda has been stuff that’s pretty broad in appeal. Anything vaguely central would agree with them in principal, but maybe not in practice.

          Protecting workers doesn’t mean you are a communist for fucks sake. This comments thread has been positively depressing.

          • Premium User Badge

            theleif says:

            His comment makes sense if you consider Sean Hannity a moderate, Rush Limbaugh a truth sayer, and facts as just liberal propaganda.

        • SkittleDiddler says:


    • wccrawford says:

      The very nature of Anonymous means that anyone can say they’re part of it and it’s instantly so. There’s no ‘pretending’ to be part of Anonymous. Once you’ve stated that you are, you are. And nobody can ever say that someone else isn’t.

      I think the odd nature of the group has given them a lot of attention they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise. Sure, their exploits are news, but many people spend a lot of time talking about how everyone else doesn’t understand the group’s nature. I’m sure it’s been really useful for them, even though it doesn’t actually protect them from the authorities.

      • TimMc says:

        This is a misconception. There is ‘Anonymous’, the hacker group, and ‘Anonymous’, the herp-derp retarded children who go on 4chan.

        For whatever reason, the latter think they belong to the former but this is not the case. I think at the beginning of 4chan, the hacker group used the site for communication. I have no idea how they interact with eachother now.

        The hacker group carry out black-hat hacking and web based attacks, usually (as with most hackers) to feed their ego. Their reasoning is always selfish, attacking scientology was for the challenge and because Tom Cruise is annoying.

        The herp-derp kids put on V for Vendetta masks, repeat memes all day and go to physical protests. They think they are part of some elite, underground club that will change the world.

        • Sparkasaurusmex says:

          So which of those two were the ones credited by Egyptian revolutionaries for helping them over throw their government?

        • wu wei says:

          What idiots, everyone clearly knows the only way to enact change is to post sniping comments on web sites.

    • Teovald says:

      You can’t really refer to them as an unified entity.
      Someone sees something that it does not like on the web (zynga laying off employees, some girl throwing puppies off a bridge, …), decides to do something (most of the case something illegal). 2 different actions from Anonymous can come from totally different groups.
      I don’t think they have any form of leadership either, except when they need someone to coordinate an attack.

      • Teovald says:

        On a side note, this gravatar thingy may not be the best move to protect my anonymity :-p

  11. njursten says:

    “That being said we will stop the idea”. Thought crime!

    Also, release the games? It’s not like anyone will be able to play them, as they are all supposed to run in some server environment almost no one will be able to set up.

  12. widowfactory says:

    Hackers publically blackmailing companies sets a terrible precedent. I hope zynga tells them where to stick it. I think it’s far more likely that a disgruntled employee(s) is leaking this information to try to save their sorry hides

  13. Dark Acre Jack says:

    Bit late. Shoulda gone after them before they ruined all those game developers and housewives.

  14. wisnoskij says:

    I have doubts that Zangle has secrets so dark and personal that a release of all their data would be much more than publicity.

  15. Daarck says:

    ‘… Anonymous will grudually release all this stuff…’

    ‘The… odd English’ in Anonymous…’’

    Haha – you said grudually then tried to make a point about odd English.

    Sorry, slow Monday – continue being awesome :)

  16. Steelfox says:

    It appears someone has set up us the bomb!!

  17. Noburu says:

    Gotta say while this seems somwhat poorly done and written compared to past actions, I hope Zynga gets what is coming to them. They are athe scum of the earth ( company no the people).

  18. The Random One says:

    “all this jobs will be replaced in other more convenient financial countries”

    What is a convenient financial country? Switzerland?

    You have to read the letter in a vaguely racist 80s action movie accent. (The precise accent doesn’t matter as long as it’s vaguely racist; I suggest either Chinese or South African.)

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Nigeria. They have the help of a former prince. They just need to get him a few thousand dollars and then they’ll be rich upon his release!

  19. MOKKA says:

    It’s always great when some random people decide to become the moral police for everybody else.

  20. Gap Gen says:

    Penny Arcade noted that Zynga’s total assets are (or were a week or so ago) worth more than their shares, i.e. the stock market believes that their business is worth negative money. I guess the recent bubble of Apple/Facebook stock was always going to lead to the market doing crazy stuff, but even so.

    • Lanfranc says:

      It’s not that crazy, it just means the market expects (probably correctly) continued poor performance, which will erode the company assets over time.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Ah, I see. I don’t know much about economics or how the markets work, to be fair.

      • stupid_mcgee says:

        You do know that trading is done by faceless algorithms and inanely stupid assholes that have zero idea of what’s going on, right?

        I saw a financial report about Corsair where they were described by Wall St. types as a “gaming hardware company.” Forget the fact that Corsair supplies the vast majority of OC’d RAM for server infrastructure, they make gaming hardware!

        Wall St. doesn’t have a fucking clue what’s going on. The vast majority are out-of-touch yuppies that are merely trying to make a quick buck. They don’t know nor care how any of this shit works.

        I actually had a cousin of mine, who worked for Cisco’s sales dept., tell me that I don’t need anti-virus or a firewall on my home PC. And he’s been doing this for over 10 years.

    • Itkovian says:

      That statement is a bit vague but here are the various ways it could make sense:

      “Total Assets” – if you literally just mean assets (and not liabilities) then its not at all uncommon for the value of the company to be lower; if you have some valuable stuff, but owe lots of money, then anyone purchasing your company would have to take on both. In simple terms – if you set up a company with £10,000, buy a building worth £100,000 (using the £10,000 and £90,000 loan from a bank) then no one will pay £100,000 for your company as they still have to repay the bank.

      Assuming that they actually meant / said “Net Assets” – i.e. the Assets less Liabilities then it comes down to the basis on which the net assets were determined. Broadly, assets can be included in the accounts on a historical cost (possibly less depreciation) or valuation basis. If the assets are included on historical cost and are now worth less than what was paid for them, it is clear that the situation still makes sense. For example, they might capitalise their development (include the cost of developing various IP, on the balance sheet). Now this might be included the total cost of paying the various staff involved (among other things) but if what they have developed is actually not worth much, you wouldn’t include the same amount in the value of the company.

      If they were to use the valuation method (revaluing assets periodically to “market value”) then they can only really be lower if the value has fallen since the last valuation. Of course to complicate things you can’t use valuation method for all types of assets so its more likely to be a mix of both…

      The upshot of all the above is that it really isn’t that unusual to have the situation described, but it isn’t good news for the company.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I think, (careful now, it’s monday…) I think it just means they have negative goodwill?

      • Itkovian says:

        Yes, what I described is exactly what negative goodwill is…

        Most people don’t know what negative goodwill means though, hence the long-winded explanation.

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      FB shares went up upon the report of net financial loses. Why? Because even though financials were down, FB had gone to mobile marketing! Forget that their mobile marketing seems doomed to fail once advertisers realize returns are much less than what they thought. (online marketing, in general, is shit on returns) These are the same geniuses that actually thought FB was worth $1 billion to begin with. Most of Wall St. couldn’t nail a good deal if it knocked down their door and raped them. And by “rape” mean “legitimate rape.” And by “them” I mean “their wallets.”

      A fool and his money…

  21. Moraven says:

    They overspent and grew to much while producing nothing of value. Any sane company would pull back. They only cut 5% of their entire work force. Sucks for the Boston studios, which they had bought the past two years. I wonder if those two studios would be still fine today if they remained independent before the executives sold to Zynga. Hopefully the employees had some stock in the company as a benefit and got some money when they were sold to Zynga (probably some Zynga stock, which well, isn’t worth much nowadays.)

    Thats why Pincus and other earlier investments sold off large amounts during the inflated IPO. At least Zuckerberg is publicly saying he won’t sell Facebook stock to grow confidence. Pincus sold $200 worth of stock while it was inflated. He still has 85% of the stock he had, which is worth 20% of the IPO, but what does he care now. He got the stock to float by hyping the company to investors and got out enough to not look to suspicious but enough to be golden for while.

    Zynga Inc. said in a regulatory filing Friday that it spent $1.2 million on the one-time purchase and installation of a security system for Pincus and his family. It was included in roughly $1.4 million of “other compensation for Pincus. The company expects that this will be a one-time expense. lol. link to

  22. jalf says:

    What the… this is just about the dumbest thing I have ever heard.

  23. DarkShroom says:

    corporations exist because we can be assed to get up in the morning not the other way around.

  24. DarkShroom says:

    basically these guys are just not responsible enough to run a corporation, a very similar story with the .com explosive startups

  25. frightlever says:

    Judging from the wording of the press release, I suspect English is not the native language of whoever prepared the statement. So, my theory is that this is actually an attempt by the Indian wing of Anonymous to dissuade Zynga from out-sourcing unwelcome jobs to their country.

    That or it’s an inside job – which would make perfect sense. Insofar as any of it makes sense.

  26. Mattressi says:

    It sounds like Anonymous have outsourced their letter writing to India too…

  27. Dances to Podcasts says:

    CEASE IMMEDIATELY THE PLAN is seriously memeworthy.

  28. Oak says:

    Real human beings and real heroes.

  29. Hahaha says:

    Sure someone else has said this but why the fuck shouldn’t they lay of a load of employess if they feel like that’s the best way yo go about things? FUCK YOU ANON

    Also got to love becoming the things you hate, lmfao

  30. Xaromir says:

    It’s an inside job.

  31. Skabooga says:


  32. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    If anyone’s curious about some of the people who have been responsible for actions done under the moniker of Anonymous this has some information.

    link to

  33. Moraven says:

    Paypal cut 325 employees while having 23% growth in revenue in their payment business…Anon get on that.

    I demand action.

  34. Eukatheude says:

    Anon can only DDoS. There ARE hacker groups who go under the general name of Anon, though they usually have their own names (AnonOps etc.).

  35. mmalove says:

    While I wish for no one to lose their job, especially in this economy, this would be a very crap way for Anonymous to strike out at Zynga. Lets face it, Zynga’s games are fairly crap, and every one of them is modeled to look like a casual game on its cover, while mathematically demanding more and more time in the hopes users will cave and pay money to skip the artificial grind, all the while blowing up your facebook wall at every give opportunity.

    What’s the point of demanding them to keep employees? Do we really want to see a farmville 3?

  36. domogrue says:

    Here’s my take on things:

    – Anon is looking for an excuse to hack into Zynga, and this employee thing is as good as any. Whether they pull something salient or not remains to be seen but if they do that’ll be interesting. Also, the bit about “killing video games” is pretty silly.

    – Zynga will release a statement about how they “don’t deal with cyberterrorists” then maybe draw a horribly inappropriate comparison, like they did with Farmville and Harvest Moon or Tiny Tower and SimTower.

    – There are tons of wonderful and talented people working at Zynga. Some of them feel compromised or resigned to their fate to a certain degree, and don’t have much philosophical agreement with their methods or practices. This rarely translates to actual ire or disdain though, as far as I can tell.

    – That letter is probably what happens when you get a bunch of internet people together to try and write something cohesive.

  37. pakoito says:

    >move to outsourced development in India

    lol good luck with that. Next month, a hundred thousand post a day on stackoverflow about how to do a basic setup of flash and HTML5 environments.

  38. googoogjoob says:

    I love that basically all the comments on this article treat anonymous as some sort of coordinated hivemind doing this, when it’s obviously like one random dude posting this stuff and putting the “anonymous” branding on it for attention.

    And by love I mean am disappointed by. I thought everyone had wised up and knew better than to say stuff like “Anonymous does good things sometimes, but I don’t agree with action X” or “Anonymous wants an excuse to do Y” etc etc.

  39. ResonanceCascade says:

    The important point about the Zynga story isn’t that they’re laying off their staff (that’s a tragic symptom of the greater sickness), it’s that becoming a public company who is beholden to stockholders first, customers second, and employees last is a terrible idea for any game developer and almost never ends well. Please don’t do this any more, you wily and shortsighted entrepreneurs of gaming. Please.

    • arccos says:

      Almost all businesses go through a cycle of growth and shrinkage. Keeping on staff you don’t feel you need is a terrible idea for everyone in the company. A healthy company does it because they want to stay healthy. By the time you absolutely need to cut staff, it’s often too late to recover and you end up cutting much deeper.

  40. jalf says:

    So, since a few people are very busy in these comments telling us all how Zynga is profitable, and don’t need to lay anyone off, could you explain to me exactly how I am misreading pieces like this one:

    link to

    Perhaps “loss” simply means something different than what I thought?

    @Shuck, for example, could you kindly explain your statement that:

    Zynga’s revenues are the highest they’ve ever been. It’s their profits that are suffering

    or at least, how it correlates with the very first paragraph of the article I linked to, which says:

    One day after laying off five percent of its workforce, Zynga announced it sustained a quarterly loss of more than $52 million. Despite the sub-optimal Q3 2012 numbers, the company’s relatively high revenue figures (over $316 million) exceeded analysts’ low expectations (in the neighborhood of $300 million). But overall, the company lost $160 million in the first nine months of 2012.

    @DrGonzo too, seems extraordinarily well-informed on how profitable Zynga is, and how they’re just doing this (if they are doing it at all) to make the rich richer.

    Please explain to me what the phrase “overall, the company lost $160 million in the first nine months of 2012” means, because apparently, it does not mean that the company is not profitable, as I’d have thought.

    Or perhaps the two of you are just living in 2010, and therefore believe Zynga to be doing well.

  41. vonkrieger says:

    My old company is in the process of doing this same thing. Sad to see capable people liquidated in favor of a solution that only makes sense on paper. (x engineers : y $)

    Still, anybody working in Zynga with mobility and ambition would most likely have moved on by now I’d expect.