The feared hacker confederation, Anonymous, threatened social gaming giant Zynga over what the group calls “outrageous treatment of employees and actions against many developers.” The post on the hacker’s forum announced the launch of Operation maZYNGA against the troubled company. Anonymous revealed the “release of the confidential documents leaked from the executives of Zynga” and warned, “On November the fifth we will release the key to the data files. Remember, Remember the 5TH of November.”
Anonymous provided links to the files they claim contain the documents. (The Inquisitr suggests our readers exercise extreme caution if you choose to download the files.) Hackers from as far away as Great Britain, Greece and Australia said they are joining the efforts against Zynga.
Others posters called for Anonymous to attack Facebook, where many of the Zynga games appear. A few lone voices criticized the hacker group for attacking the company, with one person posting this angry message: “They’re f2p social games you morons…How old are you guys? Women are getting stoned dead in the middle east.”
The hacker group accused Zynga of planning massive layoffs and outsourcing the jobs to Bangalore, India, while hiding “a billion dollars cash…in a bank.” They gave Zynga until November 5th to change their plans or Anonymous will release the confidential documents and give away all of company’s games for free.
Zynga was already facing serious problems before Anonymous made their threat. Zynga’s stock has plummeted and profits are down. Last week, the company laid off five percent of the workforce, closed the Cambridge, Massachusetts office and announced the retirement of 16 games. All future work on the company’s popular title, The Ville, will be done from India.
Many of Zynga’s top executives left the company recently and CEO Mark Pincus is under investigation for possible insider trading. Further complicating life for Mr. Pincus is the pending lawsuit by major publisher, Electronic Arts, over the similarities between the Sims Social and The Ville. Several others companies have also talked about suing Zynga for copying their games.
It appears the threat from Anonymous is serious and the release of the source code for the company’s many games could have a disastrous effect on Zynga’s future. One might wonder if Anonymous realizes that by destroying Zynga they would end up putting thousands of employees out of work. How they will be protecting Zynga’s employees from corporate greed by ruining the company remains to be seen.
Here is the transcript of the entire post on the Anonymous forum. The spelling errors are also courtesy of Anonymous:
“Zynga customers and Facebook users, We are anonymous. During the last few days anonymous has been targeting Zynga for the outrageous treatment of their employees and their actions against many developers.”
“We have come to believe that this actions of Zynga will result in massive layoff of a thousand people and legal actions against everyone that speaks to the public about this plan.”
“It will also come to end of the US game market as we know it as all this jobs will be replaced in other more convenient financial countries.”
“With a billion dollars cash sitting in a bank we do believe that such actions are an insult to the population and the behaviour of corporations like Zynga must change.”
“Anonymous could not allow this to happen so it’s starting to release confidential documents we have leaked on this plan.”
“As we speak we are planning to release also all the games we’ve taken from their servers for free.”
“That being said we will stop the idea of the distribution of such games if Zynga will cease immediately the plan.”
We also include the document Anonymous claims is from Zynga’s private files. Considering the spelling errors, grammatical mistakes and improper capitalization, we leave it to the reader to decide if it is authentic. Of particular interest is the reference to Zynga’s planned involvement with online gaming, which might be illegal for an American owned company under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006:
“Following the preliminary announced of this week the final strategy for the next two quarters has been successfully set to delivery by november 23 an additional but of 800 jobs with further raising of new capital from the market to support businesses.”
“We’ve identified our global gambling strategy with bwin.party and as we speak discussions are progressing with a partner to cover the US market.”
“Work is focused and on-going to completely outsource our development teams in our offices in Bangalore, India to hedge our position in the long term.”
“We’ve identified key new products from third parties such as Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime, Shove Prod and Music Invaders in which we are starting business contacts to buy these IP for transaction value of approximately 20 million.”
“We strongly believe we will conclude these deals this month and compete with this titles against mobile competitors with ease.”
“Our business continues to evolve and we must evolve with it. We operate in a exciting and challenging industry and I am very pleased that our senior leadership team continue to strengthen and develop with us.”
What is your opinion of the threats against Zynga by Anonymous? Do you think their actions will help Zynga’s employees or potentially put thousands of employees out of work?