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Mass Zynga layoffs rumored, three studios hit, The Ville may shut down (update)

Zynga today laid off more than 100 employees from its studios in Boston, Austin and Chicago, and plans to shut down at least one of its online games, according to unconfirmed media reports and tweets from former employees and their colleagues.

The company did not respond to multiple emails and phone calls seeking confirmation of layoff reports. We will update this story once it does.

Zynga Boston is rumored to have shut down entirely, with large cuts at Austin and Chicago locations. According to a report from The Next Web, 100 employees at Zynga Austin were let go, with rumored plans to shutter social game The Ville. A report from The Verge indicates a second, unannounced game in development at Zynga Austin is also canceled.

Zynga Austin, developer of The Ville, Zynga Bingo and Slots, was born of an acquisition of Challenge Games in 2010. Reports indicate that the teams responsible for The Ville and Zynga Bingo have been laid off. In its most recent earnings updates, Zynga has cited underperformance of The Ville specifically in explaining lower than expected revenue. EA sued Zynga in August, alleging "blatant mimicry" and copyright infringement of The Sims Social.

The company's Boston studio was established in August 2010 following the acquisition of Cambridge-based Conduit Labs. Zynga Boston was responsible for the release of Facebook game Indiana Jones Adventure World, released in 2011.

Zynga founder and CEO Mark Pincus said earlier this month that the company will be "implementing targeted cost reductions in the fourth quarter and rationalizing our product R&D pipeline to reflect our strategic priorities." The company said it expects to post a loss of $90 million to $150 million for the third quarter ending Sept. 30.

Zynga is expected to reveal its full quarterly earnings on Oct. 24.

Update: CEO Mark Pincus has confirmed layoffs, studio closures and game cancellations in a memo to employees.

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