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Zynga is laying off over 18 per cent of its work force

LA, New York, Austin and Dallas studios to be shuttered.

Casual games behemoth Zynga is laying off 18 per cent of its staff, the company has announced.

Zynga CEO Mark Pincus revealed the unfortunate news today in a blog post, where he explained that the restructuring is to help bulk up the publisher's finances while it attempts to make a larger impact on the mobile space.

"These moves, while hard to face today, represent a proactive commitment to our mission of connecting the world through games. Mobile and touch screens are revolutionising gaming," said Pincus. "Our opportunity is to make mobile gaming truly social by offering people new, fun ways to meet, play and connect. By reducing our cost structure today we will offer our teams the runway they need to take risks and develop these breakthrough new social experiences."

"Because we're making these moves proactively and from a position of financial strength, we can take care of laid off employees. We're offering generous severance packages that reflect our appreciation for all of their work and we hope this will provide a foundation as they pursue their next professional steps."

Pincus added, "Although these are hard decisions, I'm confident that our strategy of building leading franchises and supporting them with the largest network is the right one for the long term."

According to a report by AllThingsD, the restructuring will cut staff costs by $80 million, effectively rendering 520 employees redundant. Zynga currently has about 2900 on staff.

Among those affected by the layoffs are the Zynga branches in Los Angeles, New York, Austin and Dallas, which will all be shut down.

AllThingsD also reported that Zynga has temporarily stopped trading on Nasdaq and the company will finish its restructuring by August.

This is only the latest in a long string of recent financial troubles Zynga has seen itself in, as last autumn it laid off over 100 employees, then it lost over $160 million in nine months, then it shuttered half of its Q4 2012 releases only five weeks into the new year.