Proletariat Inc. Rises From Zynga Boston's Ashes

Proletariat Inc. Rises From Zynga Boston's Ashes


The layoffs at Zynga inadvertently paved the way for a new studio.

Nobody likes hearing about people losing their jobs, but every stock price plunge has its silver lining. After Zynga Boston was shuttered in a wave of studio closures, a few of its former employees put their heads together to keep doing what they do best - making games. The result of that endeavor is the newly opened Proletariat Inc., a five-man team with an inspired mission: to "wrest game development from big industry and return it to the people."

Members of the team have known each other for a while before creating Proletariat. Having worked together at Conduit Labs, a developer of web-based music games, they were brought into Zynga after Conduit was acquired by the social games publisher in 2010. There they developed Indiana Jones Adventure World, one of the more ambitious titles released by Zynga. Now that they're off the leash, the team hopes to bring that ambition to new audiences on mobile devices.

CEO Seth Sivak thinks their experience can help them succeed as an indie developer. "We have all known each other and worked with one another for so long that we've developed an organic way of making games together," he said. "We all want to make successful games, both creatively and as a business. This team has been on both sides and knows how to find that balance." The founding team members are veterans of Harmonix, Turbine, and Insomniac, so it looks like they know what they're getting into. Unlike the industry giants they learned from, however, Sivak aims to keep the studio small, in order to "let highly skilled groups of creative people innovate."

Proletariat's first title, Letter Rush, will be launching for iPhone and iPad sometime next week. It's a classic word-find game with an arcade-style twist, with support for competitive play via local multiplayer. Their next project isn't announced yet, but they're already working on something for the "core tablet market." For now, only time will tell how "the people" will feel about their indie revolution.


Proletariat... These guys don't seem to be a part of the Proletariat. Maybe they should've been named Bourgeoisie!

Name Aside, as long as they make descent stuff, then I hope they do well. Lets see if Letter Rush is any good.

Proletariat... Valve's a lot more proletariat. Soviet style advertisement doesn't make you Socialist and your "socialist" mission is just an excuse to make money and sound like a good small company.

Better Red than dead.

Proletariat...poor social class...I guess this makes sense cause they lost their jobs?
Well then, I think I'll judge you by the name once I check out your new game.

Now that they're off the leash

I see what you did there. And damn, was it painful.

So, they've gone from social gaming to socialist gaming?

"In third person action games, the camera is like the working class: if you don't control it, it will threaten to rise up and destroy you."

Apparently, the same goes for employees of shuttered game studios. I think that's kind of a radical way to introduce yourself, but likely all they're looking for is a bit of attention, so good on them, I guess. Not saying a revolution doesn't need to occur within the gaming industry, but it probably won't happen in quite so overt a manner as this. At least, not right away.

Wow, they're not being subtle about their demographic, are they?

Least they're honest.

So, they've gone from social gaming to socialist gaming?


Nobody likes hearing about people losing their jobs

Unless they're people who chose to work for a bunch of admitted scam artists whose entire business model is to steal other people's games. In that case I actually quite like hearing about them losing their jobs.

doing what they do best

a classic word-find game with an arcade-style twist

So what they do best is remaking tired old concepts that have already been done to death and were never that good to start with. Somehow this completely fails to surprise me in any way.

In soviet russia... uh..I don't know what to put here.

In soviet russia... uh..I don't know what to put here.

Games make you?

OT: "We're going to be creative" should not be followed with the news that they are making a classic word find game. Maybe they manage to mix up the formula, but it doesn't really sound like something we haven't seen before.


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