San Francisco-based social gaming giant Zynga enjoyed higher-than-expected bookings of $167.4 million for the first quarter as ‘Words With Friends’ lured more gamers, the company announced. Analysts had predicted bookings of $149.2 million. The ‘Farmville’ creator also announced the elimination of another 364 jobs as it tries to turn around its business. San Francisco-based Zynga said on Wednesday that it would cut studio jobs, will make cuts to save $100 million on an annualized pre-tax basis and will close its Orlando studio. Shares of the company rose 15% to $3.00 in extended trading. The announcement of the job cuts came after the return of founder Mark Pincus as chief executive in last month. The announcement affected nearly 18% of the company’s workforce. Zynga in January last year announced that it would lay off 15% of its workforce. The company as of December 31 had 1,974 full-time employees.
Later in February, the company made an announcement that it would close its Beijing office, eliminating 71 jobs.
Pincus during a conference call said that Zynga needs to be more resourceful in managing costs to fund investments in new games, people and data analytics.
He further agreed that they have over-burdened their game teams with complexity and centralized expenditure.
Zynga has been struggling to follow up on the huge success of Farmville and has been focusing strongly more on games for mobile devices to win back gamers. The company in Wednesday’s announcement stated that it would launch six to eight bile games in 2015.
The company said the launch of ‘Empires & Allies’, its first action strategy game for mobile devices, would help offset some of the sequential drop in bookings.
Zynga’s net loss narrowed to $46.5 million, or 5 cents per share, from $61.2 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier.