The UpStream

Zynga Undergoes More Layoffs, Including Full Studio Closures in Three Cities

posted Sunday Jun 9, 2013 by Nicholas DiMeo

Zynga Undergoes More Layoffs, Including Full Studio Closures in Three Cities

After COO David Ko took over the company and went through a period of serious consolidation and reduction, trouble still loomed for Zynga. More recently, Zynga lost its top spot as social gaming king and it would appear that things are getting worse as the months progress. Now, the gaming studio will undergo another round of staff terminations.

Zynga announced this week that it will be cutting almost another 20 percent of its total workforce, 520 people, as they will continue to cut costs everywhere they can to save the company as a whole. Zynga reps say that this measure will save yet another $80 million a year from their bottom line. In total, this will bring the total work force that's left down to about 2,300, which is even less than when they began their IPO in December of 2011, at nearly 2,700 employees. Even worse, the stock price dropped another 12 percent this week to $3 a share, bringing it to 70 percent below what the IPO was initially at.

CEO Mark Pincus said in a blog post that,

The scale that served us so well in building and delivering the leading social gaming service on the Web is now making it hard to successfully lead across mobile and multiplatform, which is where social games are going to be played.

The layoffs will include employees who are both new and seniors in the company, and will affect the San Francisco studio. Moreover, the New York, LA and Dallas offices will be shutting down for good, which obviously means the reductions in those cities did not work out in the long run.

Naturally, employees have been very upset about this news and took to the web to post their frustrations. Senior designer Matthew Cox spoke on the layoffs, mentioning that 55 employees, the whole office, was the casualty in the LA studio, however the severance was "very generous." We hope that the talented individuals from the company land on their feet and find a more prosperous work environment soon.

Sony Press Conference [Liveblog] E3 2013

posted Sunday Jun 9, 2013 by Guest Blogger

Live from the LA Sports Arena, Sony's Jack Tretton will show off the new PlayStation 4 hardware. Let's be honest - this is the moment we are all waiting for from this E3. Will we have another Big Bertha, or will this console shine right from the beginning? You will definitely want to tune in to find out.

Shortly after the event, join our team LIVE for reactions on a special F5 Live: E3 Wrap-Up Show.

Hit the break for coverage from E3 2013!

Ubisoft Press Conference [Liveblog] E3 2013

posted Sunday Jun 9, 2013 by Guest Blogger

Live from the Los Angeles theater, Ubisoft's Yves Guillemot shows off what is in store for the company over the next 12 months. Including Assassin's Creed IV and Splinter Cell Blacklist, this is bound to be an action-packed hour of videogaming goodness.

Shortly after the event, join our team LIVE for reactions on a special F5 Live: E3 Wrap-Up Show.

Hit the break for coverage from E3 2013!

Electronic Arts Press Conference [Liveblog] E3 2013

posted Sunday Jun 9, 2013 by Guest Blogger

Live from the Shine Auditorium, Electronic Arts' Peter Moore will put on display the company's next year worth of important titles. With a peek at Battlefield 4's multiplayer and Need for Speed: Rivals, plus a look at the work from EA Sports, this is one not to miss.

Shortly after the event, join our team LIVE for reactions on a special F5 Live: E3 Wrap-Up Show.

Hit the break for coverage from E3 2013!

Microsoft Press Conference [Liveblog] E3 2013

posted Sunday Jun 9, 2013 by Guest Blogger

Live from the Galen Center, Xbox's Don Mattrick and Phil Spencer will complete the Xbox One announcement started 19 days prior, this time with a focus on gaming. With live gameplay from Forza 5 and a new title from CryTek, you won't want to miss all of the excitement here!

Shortly after the event, join our team LIVE for reactions on a special F5 Live: E3 Wrap-Up Show.

Hit the break for coverage from E3 2013!

Prenda Law Planted Content on Pirate Bay, Used Torrents in Suits

posted Saturday Jun 8, 2013 by Scott Ertz

Everyone is aware of patent trolls at this point, but not everyone is aware of copyright trolls. The concepts are very similar, and exist predominantly in the adult industry, where creating content is cheap and possible infringement settlements are high. The most known of these trolls is Prenda Law, who happily boasts "Prenda Law has thousands of open cases against hackers and pirates."

The problem is, however, that Prenda Law might actually be responsible for its own infringements. Let me explain. John Steele, one of the main lawyers for Prenda, was recently attached to a Pirate Bay account named sharkmp4. The site used activity logs to track an IP address attached to the account, and then back-tracked that IP to comments on anti-copyright-troll websites with pro-Prenda messages. Oh, it was also used to access Steele's GoDaddy account. Oops.

Steele denies being sharkmp4 and, of course, denies any involvement with uploading pornography to The Pirate Bay, but it is pretty difficult to outrun your IP address. Referencing this data, attorney Graham Syfert filed a complaint in a Florida court this week against Prenda and Steele.

So, if this turns out to be accurate information, my guess is that Prenda will lose a lot more cases than they are already. That and I predict TPB users are going to be a little freaked out that the site is logging their IP addresses. Administrator Winston says,

As for us sharing the IPs, we would obvious only do this to out the bad guys after we linked them to the addresses.

Still a little concerning that a site used to transfer files covertly logs IP addresses, removing the covert aspect.

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