Following Monday afternoon's announcement by Zynga that the social gaming company had fired 520 of its employees — and completely shut down the New York office of OMGPOP, the startup behind Draw Something that Zynga had acquired for $200 million last year — the laid-off OMG staff immediately threw a boozy, joyous party that involved what sounds like a primal, 2001: A Space Odyssey-style session full of shredding Zynga swag. "Music was being played loudly, and people were ripping up Zynga hoodies and T-shirts," a source told Business Insider's Alyson Shontell. "People were ripping up Zynga apparel," another former employee told BetaBeat's Jessica Roy. "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.
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.
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."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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