Yesterday was a big day for Zynga as the mobile specialist acquired gaming company NaturalMotion and also laid off 15 percent of its workforce in the process. NaturalMotion is the UK-based studio behind some of the biggest mobile franchises including CSR Racing and Clumsy Ninja.
Zynga paid $527 million for the company which includes $391 million in cash and around 39.8 million shares of Zynga stock based on Wednesday’s closing price. All said and done, that left Zynga with $1.2 billion in cash and marketable securities – or in other words, still plenty of cash.
Elsewhere, Zynga also announced they were laying off 15 percent of their workforce, or about 314 employees. The decision is said to be part of a cost-reduction plan designed to save up to $35 million this year, not counting $15-$17 million in restructuring charges.
CEO Don Mattrick said the majority of job cuts would take place in infrastructure areas and as such, they won’t be shutting down any individual studios.
This is the second major employee reduction in less than a year. Back in the summer of 2013, Zynga let go around 520 staffers. And since Mattrick took over the position from founder Mark Pincus, he’s laid off even more employees by cutting out middle management positions and closing down poorly performing games.
Even with the job cuts, Zynga still has around 2,000 employees which is a lot more than other competitors that are doing better.