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zynga11Zynga is dumping plans to operate its own data centers, returning to Amazon Web Services as part of a $100 million cost-cutting effort that also is resulting in 364 people losing their jobs at the game maker.

“There’s a lot of places that are not strategic for us to have scale and we think not appropriate, like running our own data centers,” Zynga CEO Mark Pincus said in a conference call last week. “We’re going to let Amazon do that.”

Marc Pincus
Marc Pincus

Zynga moved away from AWS four years ago at a time of extraordinary growth for the company, saying that owning and operating data centers would enhance the performance of games and lead to greater player satisfaction. In its IPO filing, Zynga wrote that it planned to spend $100 million to $150 million in network infrastructure.

However, The Wall Street Journal reports that operating a network of data centers proved challenging.

Pincus, who returned to the CEO post last month, said that the cost-cutting moves would help the company reestablish its “entrepreneurial roots” and take “more shots on goal” with smaller teams creating better games. He added that the cost-cutting plan is about “focus and simplification,” making sure that the remaining staffers are focused on the best opportunities.

“In some ways, one could view that as making the business more scalable with greater focus than less, as many of the reductions are really not in the area of game makers, but really in some of their impediments, and some of the complexity that we have created,” Pincus said.

Zynga closed a Seattle engineering center last year, part of another wave of layoffs at the company.

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