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.
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.

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