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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Discussion

23 comments
Hellbishop
Hellbishop

This sounds like great news especially considering how thick social strategizing was with its positive negative consequences in ALPHA CENTAURI.

druggyjoe3000
druggyjoe3000

Mafia wars is fun but I wouldnt pay to play it

TehEliteElite
TehEliteElite

"Independent developer hires Rise of Nations lead designer Brian Reynolds to lead development on "social strategy games."'' Cool! "lead the product development team and create "social strategy" games" Uh... I guess that's okay. "focus on social network-oriented games designed for """platforms""", such as FACEBOOK. " WTF.

bdhoff
bdhoff

Mafia Wars is hella fun. It took me about 20 minutes to become addicted to it.

AzNs3nSaT1On
AzNs3nSaT1On

in the end he will work with the company that pays the most money or offers the highest title. Honestly though, who cares if you make memorable games.

LosDaddie
LosDaddie

Now put out games that I want!!

Gamingcucumber
Gamingcucumber

So we expect some more iMob and iwhathaveyou games? Cool, because they really need some talent to make those types of cheap pointless games, right?

firehawk998
firehawk998

Lets see this guy went from creating classic games like Alpha Centauri, civilization 2 and finally RON to creating "social strategy" games. IMO if I was the head of EA I would have hired this guy to create future Command and Conquer games. Though the games are different this guys idea will help the series to go a long way.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

rofl. what the hell....seriously? How do you go from making alpha centauri to....uhhhhhhh

nurse_tsunami
nurse_tsunami

I wish he would have worked on a new RoN game. Or any AAA title for that matter. Making Facebook games just seems like such a waste for talent like his :(

alexkn64
alexkn64

Boy, talk about "killing a fly with a shotgun." They're trying to develop a Facebook App game, and they hire one of the most respected designers in the RTS genre? Seems a bit overkill to me.

Sig12047
Sig12047

Mafia Wars is a fun game but I can't imagine paying for a browser game like that.

WorldMusc_basic
WorldMusc_basic

And there goes his career folks... Developing million dollar games to working on facebook HTML projects. From Alpha Centauri to YoVille... They shouldn't even be mentioned in the same universe.

CVM_123
CVM_123

Gang wars is my favorite of zynga but yea i would not pay at all to play that game its just something to kill the boreness

dkpunk
dkpunk

Nothing wrong with playing Mafia Wars or Pirates. Although I agree with James... I would never pay for them.

jamesstierwalt
jamesstierwalt

i play mafia wars and street racing only to kill some time throughout the day. i would never pay to play such games.

Francision69
Francision69

I actually play YoVille on Facebook... (X_X)

jrabbit99
jrabbit99

i hate those facebook games like Mafia Wars

Killer6b9
Killer6b9

Zynga makes a bunch of dumbed down online games like mafia wars.....where most people I have heard get robbed of real money for paying for godfather points....anyone else hear of this?