In an official statement from Zynga, the company said the following about Karp’s departure:
Jeff Karp is leaving Zynga, and the groups in his organization have been realigned under appropriate existing divisions. Our marketing and revenue teams have always been industry leaders, and as we continue our transition toward mobile and multiplatform game creation and distribution, their continued execution will be key to our future success. We are grateful to Jeff for his contributions over the last year and wish him well in his future endeavors.
Karp’s departure follows an increasingly large string of resignations from the troubled social gaming company. Other recent departures include Chief Technology Officer of Infrastructure Allan Leinwand, Chief Creative Officer Mike Verdu, and Chief Operating Officer John Schappert, all of which occurred in the last two months. Altogether, almost a dozen executives have left Zynga, according to GamesIndustry, and reports of new departures continue to occur.
Shares of the Zynga stock continue to sell for under $3 a share.
Analysis: Being an investor and watching the Zynga stock is a lot like being Herbert Morrison watching the Hindenberg burn apart. The company is not dead in the water since there are hopes that the release of FarmVille 2 almost a week ago can help the struggling company, but it’s very clear that Zynga is in very dire straits. Like I’ve said before, everybody who has the ability to get the hell out of Zynga is rapidly doing so, and that’s not indicative of a healthy company. Some are getting sidelined by a frustrated Mark Pincus, like Schappert was, while others like Verdu see this crisis as a chance to transition to a different gaming venture. Regardless of how they leave, though, it just gives you a little insight into the mess going on inside Zynga.
Honestly, I really don’t know what to say at this point because it feels like this same story just keeps happening over and over again every week. This is why amateur investors should be careful with technology start-ups: for every Google stock you have a Zynga, Facebook, or 38 Studios willing to rob you blind.
The greater significance of this whole mess, however, is that the social gaming goldmine has hit its cap and the industry’s Forty-Niners are heading off to the mobile gaming market to make their stake in the future of casual gaming. The industry is changing, and companies like Zynga that were loathe to switch their focus are now realizing that they’re on a sinking ship and that all the life rafts have been taken already.