Zynga's In-House Rivalry with OMGPOP Led

June 05 [Wed], 2013, 15:14
Following Monday afternoon's announcement by Zynga that the social gaming company had  — and  the New York office of OMGPOP, the startup behind Draw Something that Zynga hadlast year — the laid-off OMG staff immediately threw a boozy, joyous party that involved what sounds like a primal,  session full of shredding Zynga swag. "Music was being played loudly, and people were ripping up Zynga hoodies and T-shirts," . "People were ripping up Zynga apparel," . "Anyone that had Zynga stuff with them just left it in the office." All of this went down in apparent ecstasy— "the sentiment felt positive" — possibly because the OMGPOP people had a rivalry with Zynga proper. In fact, the Draw Something crew was so slighted that it now even sounds like they think they got fired because of the bad blood. 

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While the entire OMGPOP team got fired (save a few people sticking around to help with the transition), hardly any of the web-first Farmville 2 team got the boot, notes Shontell. "We thought, 'You just laid off your most talented mobile team,'" a former employee told her. "We were totally under-utilized," he added. The OMG employee who spoke with BetaBeat also mentioned weird vibes from the mothership out West. "We never felt like there was a connection there as far as the culture. I think people are pretty bitter about Zynga acquiring OMGPOP last year," the out-of-work game programmer said, suggesting Zynga chose their office as a result of that kind of bitterness. 

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In any case, the former Zynga employees — at least the ones who spoke out Tuesday — don't sound too broken up about the situation. After the purging ceremony, the group went to a local bar and started talking about what they would do next. "Just 'cuz Zynga bought us doesn’t meant that they dumbed us down," a just-fired employee said. "I think the people here are going to create some awesome stuff."



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