Zynga hires Mortal Kombat co-creator

Social gaming studio brings on John Tobias, as well as former EA, Midway veteran Mark Turmell; acquires "mid-core" multiplatform developer A Bit Lucky.

Zynga is making moves. The social gaming company recently announced that it hired Mortal Kombat co-creator John Tobias to join the studio's San Diego branch as creative director. The company also trumpeted an additional new hire at Zynga: Electronic Arts and Midway veteran Mark Turmell.

Zynga is beefing up its talent pool.

In addition to snapping up individual talent, Zynga has announced that it acquired San Mateo, California-based studio A Bit Lucky, the company behind Facebook game Lucky Space.

Zynga said its acquisition of A Bit Lucky, a self-described "mid-core" studio, is an effort that demonstrates the company's eagerness to expand into new categories. All 20-plus employees at A Bit Lucky will be relocated to Zynga's headquarters in nearby San Francisco, California.

A Bit Lucky's first project for Zynga will be Solstice Arena, a multiplayer and multiplatform game. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

In a statement, A Bit Lucky founders Frederic Descamps and Jordan Maynard explained that they explored offers from numerous interested parties, but were convinced that Zynga was the best fit, calling the partnership a "meeting of the minds."

Descamps and Maynard said meeting Zynga founder Mark Pincus was a "turning point" in the pair's decision to be acquired by the company. "His passion to define a new way to play and his entrepreneurial drive are very contagious," the two said in a joint statement.

In addition to beefing up staff and acquiring studios, Zynga is currently facing a high-profile copyright infringement lawsuit from big-time publisher Electronic Arts. Zynga recently fired back at the FIFA and Battlefield publisher with its own suit, calling the case against it baseless.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Discussion

32 comments
saltbalsak
saltbalsak

And in a related story...

I just bought another virtual doo-dad for my whatch-a-ma-call-it. ;-)

lololololol...sorry, I just cracked me up :-)

Techn1c4l
Techn1c4l

I wonder how will they call it. Deadly Phight?

Mega_Skrull
Mega_Skrull

*wanted to make a "mortal Kombat-ville joke*

*reads a few comments*

Too late... :(

 

On topic: eww...

GH05T-666
GH05T-666

Well that's bad news..

Mortal Kombat and Zynga..

Hell No!!

Mortal Kombat is awesome but Zynga...

No Zynga No!!

Just disappear forever

wexorian
wexorian

Faceboock combat, Mortalfaceboock, Zyngacombat, Greedycombat, CHoose ZYnga for new FB game.

Rifqi_Hb
Rifqi_Hb

and there will be a social fighting game "KombatVille".

Falru
Falru

Zynga's still alive?

UnwantedSpam
UnwantedSpam

Maybe we can expect a social game called "Immortal Konflict", a shameless ripoff of MK that makes the game social, makes you pay to unlock the full move roster, battles will be randomized as to who wins so you don't get to play, and you need to pay for energy or wait 5 hours every 3 fights. Not to mention spamming your friend's FB news feeds with unimpressive "Deathalities".

 

I hate Zynga. No respect for that horrible company.

Freezezzy
Freezezzy

A creative director... at Zynga? Since when does Zynga have anything to do with creativity?

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

Well at least they have 1 person there with an original idea.

Zonno
Zonno

I wonder what 'innovations' this man will bring to social gaming.

toshineon
toshineon

So I guess we can expect "FightVille" soon.

SolidTy
SolidTy

John Tobias hasn't been with the MK team for a long, long, long time. Fun fact, Noob Saibot, is John Tobias and Ed Boon's names' backwards.

 

John Tobias has done zero to impress the industry since his departure, so this isn't exciting news as Zynga is a terrible company.

King9999
King9999

Wow, they got the other half of Noob Saibot.

Deadly_Nemesis
Deadly_Nemesis

 

Oh John...don't do that..I was just starting to like you again and forgive you for Tao Feng.

higherflyerJ
higherflyerJ

My, how the gaming industry has changed...

Axe_Armor
Axe_Armor

A small tear just rolled down my face.

mrzero1982pt2
mrzero1982pt2

what is their game going to be called? combat of the immortals of the street? 

SomePlayaDude
SomePlayaDude

I have no idea on the status on Netherrealm's employee sector, but the only way Tobias could have joined is if Zynga won a poker match for his contract ala Plankton did for Spongebob (yep, i mean they cheated)

never-named
never-named

Noob Saitbot at Zynga? Life isn't fair...

sieg6529
sieg6529

Power of crap unite with power of obsolescence to form Captain Irrelevant!

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

now you will have to buy a micro transaction to do a fatality........how sad.....

8_Large
8_Large

don't you mean... Ko-Kreator?

Hyperskate65
Hyperskate65

 @SolidTy Is there really any one that doesn't know the Noob Saibot thing by now?

Deadly_Nemesis
Deadly_Nemesis

He hasn't been working with MK since MK4. And I am pretty sure hasn't done anything in gaming since Tao Feng tanked.

SolidTy
SolidTy

 @Hyperskate65 Hundreds of people I see everyday don't know plenty including that tidbit, Hyperskate65.