On a Tuesday in late October, most of the employees of Zynga Boston, a video game studio, met for drinks after work at Charlie’s Kitchen in Harvard Square. Their 48-person office was only six weeks from finishing a new mobile game built around sharing funny photos. But instead of celebrating, they were commiserating: They’d all been laid off abruptly that day when their parent company, based in San Francisco, decided to shut Zynga Boston.
“There was just shock,” says Seth Sivak, one of the top designers at the Boston studio. “Up to that day, the message from San Francisco was that we were doing great, and that the new game was important to them.”