Zynga stocks up on Big Huge cofounder

Independent developer hires Rise of Nations lead designer Brian Reynolds to lead development on "social strategy games."

Curt Schilling's 38 Studios extended a lifeline to Big Huge Games last month, after the one-time THQ subsidiary found itself facing closure. And while 38 Studios' acquisition saved the studio, it came at the cost of one its most high-profile cofounders, Brian Reynolds.

Brian Reynolds

However, with a resume like Reynolds'--which includes design work on the likes of Firaxis' Civilization II and Alpha Centauri, as well as Big Huge's Rise of Nations--unemployment typically isn't an issue. Today, social game outfit Zynga announced that Reynolds has been named as the company's new chief designer.

Reynolds will head up Zynga's new East Coast operations, as well as lead the product development team and create "social strategy" games. According to today's announcement, the Baltimore, Maryland-based studio will initially comprise 12 to 15 employees and focus on social network-oriented games designed for platforms, such as Facebook.

It appears as if Reynolds' departure from Big Huge was an amicable one. Commenting on today's announcement, a 38 Studios representative told GameSpot, "38 Studios highly values the vision and contributions of Brian to the portfolio of Big Huge Games products and the video game industry in general. The company wishes him great success in his new endeavor."

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