Zynga's Chief Game Designer Jumps Ship

Zynga's Chief Game Designer Jumps Ship

Brian Reynolds, of Civilization 2 fame, leaves the flagging company.

With Zynga's stock prices plunging faster than winter temperatures, lead game designer Brian Reynolds is joining pretty much everyone else and leaving the social gaming company. "We appreciate Brian's contribution and we're proud of the deep bench of creative leaders who are leading the next wave of game innovation at Zynga", said Zynga President of Games Steve Chiang. "We wish Brian the best in his next chapter."

Brian said his farewells via Twitter saying "Yes I'm officially leaving Zynga after 3 3/4 great years". Afterwards, he changed his handle from "ZyngaGameChief" to "TheGameChief".

Reynolds is an industry veteran whose name shows up in classics like Civilization 2, Rise of Nations, and Alpha Centauri. In 2009, he left Big Huge Games for the cash-rich pastures of Zynga, where he designed FrontierVille, an odd departure from his usual strategy fare.

Had this been six months ago, there might have been some clever remarks or observations to add, but stories like these are expected nowadays. Reynolds is a talented developer, and I'm sure that many gamers would love to see him work on something outside of social gaming. Perhaps there's room for an Alpha Centauri 2, eh?

Source: Twitter via Polygon

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Will Zygna just die already?
I'd like to see more Rise of Nations myself.

IanDavis:
Perhaps there's room for an Alpha Centauri 2, eh?

I would like that very much if you please!

Best of luck to the guy though, it'd be nice to see him get his chops around something different for sure.

Their are still employees with 'Chief' in their title? I thought they all jumped ship a while ago. Maybe middle management got emergency promotions.

Fasckira:

IanDavis:
Perhaps there's room for an Alpha Centauri 2, eh?

I would like that very much if you please!

Best of luck to the guy though, it'd be nice to see him get his chops around something different for sure.

Sadly, as stated in the Three Moves Ahead podcast, Alpha Centauri 2 is never going to happen. The rights to the IP are caught in a legal tieup between Firaxis and EA, with the contract apparently saying that no sequel can be developed unless both companies consent to it. And those two apparently didn't part on the best of terms. Plus almost none of the original team remains with Firaxis.

It's a real pity, Alpha Centauri remains my sentimental favourite of the 4X games. Staple the Drones, Load the Planetbusters, it's time to teach Miriam a valuable lesson about screwing with the University of Planet.

I'm suprised Scamga had a designer of anything, surely they just needed an intern to do some copy & pasting?

How does Zynga have a chief game designer when all they do is steal other peoples ideas and then try to market them as their own?

Desworks:
Sadly, as stated in the Three Moves Ahead podcast, Alpha Centauri 2 is never going to happen.

That's a real shame. I'm not normally keen on the genre save for Alpha Centauri and to an extent Colonization.

Its also a shame when a potential game doesn't get made due to legal quibbles. Wont someone please think of the fans?!

I guess he needed a break from game development...

Well, now that his break's finally over, maybe he can go back to developing games.

IanDavis:
Perhaps there's room for an Alpha Centauri 2, eh?

that's the best Civ game ever.

kiri2tsubasa:
Maybe middle management got emergency promotions.

I can't give specifics due to social obligations, but yes. Upper management is now mostly comprised of middle managers trying to put as much time as feasible under the current title as resume padding before jumping ship as well.

I wouldn't mind playing a sequel to Alpha Centauri, but I don't see much need for it. The original Alpha Centauri runs well on modern systems and still looks decent. It would be awesome if we were to get another strategy game of some sort from Brian Reynolds though.

Gennadios:

kiri2tsubasa:
Maybe middle management got emergency promotions.

I can't give specifics due to social obligations, but yes. Upper management is now mostly comprised of middle managers trying to put as much time as feasible under the current title as resume padding before jumping ship as well.

If that's the case I hope that the first question from HR to these guys is, "You had a leadership role at a company that fell apart due to poor leadership, why do we want more of that here?"

Then watch them squirm.

Also Mr Reynolds, you are among those that I will pledge at kickstarter for.

 

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