Zynga loses chief designer

Brian Reynolds out at social game company after nearly four years.

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Zynga has lost a top developer. Chief game designer Brian Reynolds has left the social game company, he announced over Twitter last night. Reynolds had spent nearly four years with the San Francisco, California-based FarmVille developer.

It is not clear where Reynolds is headed next or if he will be replaced at Zynga.

Reynolds founded Zynga's Baltimore, Maryland studio, which released FrontierVille in June 2010. His principal game credits also include CityVille 2 and FrontierVille: Pioneer Trail.

Prior to joining Zynga in May 2009, Reynolds was a founder of Civilization studio Firaxis Games. He left Firaxis in late 1999 and founded Big Huge Games with three partners. At that company, he was lead designer on Rise of Nations and Rise of Legends, before negotiating a sale to THQ in January 2008.

It has been tough going at Zynga of late. The company enacted a major round of layoffs in October, has seen numerous top-level staff defections in the past year, and faces a high-profile lawsuit from Electronic Arts.

Discussion

39 comments
brxricano
brxricano

Beh, theyll just steal another one.....

Dav_id83
Dav_id83

They are a complete rubbish company that shoves out crap and doesnt fix them they like an EA for the phone app market nothing ever works from them and if it does it usually has network issues and you cant continue. I hope they shut down soon completely

Urufudo
Urufudo

Good, I hope Zynga dies in a fire... the way they treat their employees is as bad as they shameless way they rip off other games so blatantly.

LesserAngel
LesserAngel

Maybe he'll return to Firaxis and we'll finally get another Alpha Centauri game!

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

What does a "chief designer" even do at Zynga?  They certainly don't design new games.

"Chief of Rip-Offs" might not be as good a job title though I guess.

nurnberg
nurnberg

I believe that EA will destroy them.  Literally.

tgwolf
tgwolf

Sounds like Zynga is pretty despicable...never as bad as EA, but...

soulless4now
soulless4now

They need to just go away forever at this point. 

bongsyas_23
bongsyas_23

BWAHAHAHAHAHA.. just kidding. hope he finds a job right away

Dasim64
Dasim64

Zynga is a total rip off. I'll never touch one of their games.

torres_unix
torres_unix

Designer!?  Is that the new term for one who plagiarizes?

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

Do you hear that Zynga?.........

................

That is the sound of Innevitability....................

Your lucrative bubble is about to burst!

lorenzoa88
lorenzoa88

I remember when Zynga was on top of the world and thinking how stupid that was.  When will people learn that social gamers are incredibly fickle?  Have a division cater to them.  Don't make a whole company that does that.  Can't say I'd be surprised if the whole company collapsed, but that's what you get for devoting yourself to easily made games for an audience that will inevitably lose interest.

Lightsotrippy
Lightsotrippy

games need to be more creative nowadays ffs

QQnore

Lightsotrippy
Lightsotrippy

games need to be more creative nowadays...

QQffs

Lightsotrippy
Lightsotrippy

games need to be more creative nowadays.

QQffs

ZOD777
ZOD777

So is this a roundabout way of saying someone from another studio left?

demondogx
demondogx

Since when is copy-paste game design? even i could do that,
All they do is slap a new name on it, add a spam youre friends and  a microtransaction system on it.

gatsbythepig
gatsbythepig

That's okay, Zynga has so much talent, they'll always overcome.

TheCommenter77
TheCommenter77

Serves them right and I do like anonymous's efforts to give them a little reailty check.

MrDouglas
MrDouglas

So that's where Brian Reynolds been hiding for the last couple of years. Brilliant game designer. Civ II, Alpha Centauri and Rise of Nations are all fantastic games that he was involved in. Hopefully he's now free to go back to designing real games. Maybe there's a spot open at Firaxis, would be awesome.

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

The sooner Zynga ends up in the dust bin of history the better off the industry is.

fatee
fatee

Crtl+C, Crtl+V.

Chief designer.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

Game Designer?  Don't flatter yourself.  Rip-off Artist is more like it.

Unholy123
Unholy123

Oh no however will they look at other peoples work and say "we could add micro transactions to that" now.

gufberg
gufberg

Chief Designer? Do these people really need any creative power? All they do is copy the games of other developers anyway

Stonecutters908
Stonecutters908

Has there ever been such a meteoric rise followed by such a quick fall from grace? I hope this is a lesson to investors looking for that next videogame trend. These casual games are largely short term fads with no long term prospects. Angry Birds might be the only exception I can think of and even its popularity is probably going to wane.

Ledah
Ledah

Zynga has been losing so much since last year, I guess that's what happens when you are evil.

tgwolf
tgwolf

@soulless4now ...Won't be long now, sounds like they're gonna' be getting their's soon enough.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@gatsbythepig BAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH.... WAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHAHAA ROFL BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.....oh wait you were seroius?

Cyber_Skaarj
Cyber_Skaarj

@MrDouglas 

It's funny how people are ignoring this amazing history in game design and are mocking him for the title of chief game designer. It's like they think his history in game design started and ended at Zynga...

Overeduk8ed
Overeduk8ed

@Stonecutters908 I don't think it's fair to hate on casual games. While each individual game might be short lived, I doubt the trend of growth of the genre is. And, what difference does it make if people who might not consider themselves gamers spend their time tending a fake farm? In some cases, those people might discover what we might consider more traditional games through this vector, which increases the customer base, which puts more value in the industry, which can lead to a stronger, more resilient gaming industry.

Overeduk8ed
Overeduk8ed

@Ledah Usually such a justifiably rapid fall from grace is predicated by the arrival of a super-hero or at least a well-armed protagonist. Clearly the Zynga story will not make a good comic book adaptation.

Stonecutters908
Stonecutters908

@Overeduk8ed @Stonecutters908 Who's hating? It is just an acknowledgement of reality. Farmville and its many clones don't retain the user base that Zynga and their many investors hoped it would. The rest of the casual industry is basically down to mobile, which I have no problem with but the reality of that space is that a developer can't charge more than $1 or the game generally doesn't sell and for every Angry Birds there are 1000 games that go no where.

xeoneex66
xeoneex66

@gatsbythepig @xeoneex66 I know what you meant sir :D.  It is all good and I had fun writing that.  I have never touched a Zynga game, and I KNOW they are crap.