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.
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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