Zynga Drops U.S. Gambling Games, Jobs at Stake?

Zynga’s bet on real-money gambling turned into a bust this week, with the company announcing it was dropping its plans to pursue it in the U.S. and would continue to evaluate its pilot test in the U.K. Employees tied to its real-money gambling efforts may be the true losers in this game, as Zynga looks to complete its massive workforce reduction by August.

Zynga LogoLast month, Zynga announced it would cut roughly 520 employees, or 18 percent of its workforce, in a major cost cutting move. It’s unclear at this point how many of those people may include IT workers affiliated with its real-money gambling work. Zynga declined to comment on potential layoffs of its real-money gambling team members.

Comeback Kid

Should they get hit with layoffs, Zynga employees affiliated with its real-money gambling games, Zynga Plus Casino and Zynga Plus Poker, may find their experience as a UI/UX designer, artist or quality assurance tester helpful in landing a job outside of the traditional game industry.

Enterprise companies moving into gamification and traditional casino slot machine makers are some of the companies that are eager to hire traditional game designers, testers and engineers.

“We’re a casino game maker but we’re growing and hiring people from the system gaming industry, like the Sony, Disney Interactive or Blizzard world,” Mara Flores, recruiting manager for Multimedia Games, a provider of game content and systems, told Dice News in an interview last summer. She noted the company tends to need people with Java and C++ skills, as well as artists.

Enterprise companies looking to attract, retain or prompt action among its customers, employees or partners are increasingly turning to gamification to accomplish their needs. Gamification is a means for companies to use games to prompt and reward actions. Luke Hohmann, CEO of Innovation Games, for example, told Dice News last year that his company produces virtual market and visual collaboration games that are sold to enterprise companies like SAP.

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