Zynga COO Stripped Of His Power After Stocks Collapsed

By: Zach Walton - August 1, 2012

To say that Zynga is between a rock and a hard place right now would be a bit of an understatement. The company is more like between a wall of cacti and an iron maiden. Either way, they’re going to bleed. That bleeding is starting today as one of the company’s major executives has reportedly lost his power.

Bloomberg is reporting that Zynga COO John Schappert is no longer overseeing game development at Zynga. The report makes it clear that Schappert wasn’t fired, but he pretty much has no influence over the products that Zynga makes anymore. The teams in charge of games at Zynga must now report directly to CEO Mark Pincus.

Considering that Schappert was one of Zynga’s high profile talent acquisitions, his downgrade is a sign that all is not well. Pincus’ involvement in game design makes its clear that Zynga wants to make sure that their next game is an absolute hit. If not, it could spell more doom and gloom for the games company that took the world by storm, then tumbled to a share price of $2.82.

According to Bloomberg, the removal of Schappert and other organizational changes signals an increased move to mobile for the company. Zynga has not had a big hit in the mobile space yet, so their reorganization may help them make a splash. The only problem is that mobile is far more competitive than Facebook and Zynga might not be able to survive off of brand name alone anymore. They will need to craft new and exciting experiences instead of just copying the design of other popular mobile titles.

On top of the reorganization, Zynga is also facing investigations over insider trading. It seemed a little suspicious that Pincus and other Zynga insiders dumped their stock before the price plunged. The results of those investigations should prove interesting. We’ll keep you up to date on any new developments as Zynga is sure to be the center of a lot of news in the coming weeks.

About the Author

Zach WaltonZach Walton is a Writer for WebProNews. He specializes in gaming and technology. Follow him on Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and Google+ +Zach Walton

View all posts by Zach Walton
  • Cheryl Ross

    Many players are leaving due to recent changes in the games & the latest insult is the removal of live chat support from an estimated 75% of the players. Their response is to use the player supported forum for assistance. Many groups are starting to revolt over this and some of us have actually started a petition on change.org titled: Get live-chat customer service back for ALL players NOW!
    We started this last night and already have over 800 signatures.

    • Kimberly

      A petition shouldn’t be necessary nor is it even useful. Also the amount of money you put into the game shouldn’t matter, what may be only $10 a month to one person, may be hundreds to another.

      What should matter is the fact that this is a game which is very social. A game filled with quests which are timely and the fact that the same complaints are arising over and over again.
      Bushels cannot be received when requested, items not counting towards quests, animals for quests disappearing, crops not counting as harvested, towards the requirements of quests. I could go on and on.
      These complaints span across millions of players. Most players don’t want to get left behind, so the first thing they do is turn to support. Since support has been disabled for what seems 75-80% of the player base(myself included), the next thing they do is pull out the old credit card and hit the purchase button.

      From what I see, and I’m no pro at this, the people that have chat, have spent lots of money with Zynga in the preceding months. Myself, my purchases amount to very little. Therefore I have no support. If I go to the forums, I may get a response, 1 time out of 11 posts in 1 year. Not good. No MMO which is a massive scale game, and even though this game charges no monthly fees, the advantage of spending your money is quite clear. No MMO charges such outrages prices and provides just a hit and miss forum based support. Even the FREE TO PLAY games offer some decent support! You pay a small monthly fees. You have tons of quests and loads of competitiveness going on but if something major happens, you have so many support options from Forums to tickets to email to Phone support.
      How is it that Zynga, which has put such a teeny amount of money into their “Social” games, has netted such profit and provided the worst support to players paying hundreds and thousands of dollars?? How are they different from any MMO??

      No, I don’t think a petition is worth the time or trouble. Try a boycott, you’re much more likely to get a more drastic response from the company. I myself have let the crops wither. I’m sick of dealing with all the bugs and having the best support option as a forum for PLAYERS to give me the best answers they can.

  • Ted

    Facebook isn’t killing Zynga. Zynga is doing it to themselves. They keep taking options away from players like the most recent blunder with live chat for support. Without it there is virtually no support for their players coupled with their inability to put out a quality product (GAME)without it being plagued with glitches.
    Right now daily players are leaving in significant numbers and it wouldn’t surprise me if it went from 20M logging on per day to 15M very shortly.

  • Judy Goebel

    Most have lost the ability to access Live Chat, which due to the many issues with Farmville ( I play only Farmville, so cannot comment on other games)is a critical issue. Some issues need to be addressed in a timely manner, because many features of the game are time sensitive. Email now takes 48 hours for a response, and much often longer. We are directed to the forums where often we are at best ignored, at worst our questions are locked or we are totally banned from posting. I for one will not support Zynga by buying any more FC until this situation is rectified and there is a level playing field…

    Additionally, even the cost of items, the same items cost some players more than other players…totally unacceptable..

  • Psamathe

    Zygna is famous for not supporting their players the recent removal of Live Chat Support from a good percentage of their players is an example of their treatment of their players. They don’t reply to e-mails. They game is always full of issues.

  • Helena

    I made the decision just today before even reading this report to phase out all my Zynga game playing. It makes good sense in any business to provide customer support to people who spend money on a product. Live chat was disabled for thousands of players, E-mail disabled for thousands. We are told to post on the forum now for customer service, those post are promptly deleted for “complaining, not being “sunshiny” enough”. No support from Zynga, no support from me! Now that may not seem like much but as more players leave, more advertisers take note. The wheels fall off the gravy train.

  • http://www.frogdice.com Michael Hartman

    When your business is based on stealing ideas from others and less than 1% of your customers actually thinking your product is good enough to pay for, you’ve got problems.

  • Dr. GrooVy

    It is hard to determine which of the 3 is the lamest: Facebook, Zynga, or the people who use their “services.”

  • Dee

    I am very disappointed live chat has been taken away. I have been playing the game daily for the past two years and have spent hundreds of dollars purchasing cash and items. I do not think that it if fair for live chat to be taken away and will not purchase anymore cash or game cards until problem is resolved