Facebook game developer, Kixeye, poaches Zynga's staff, then adds insult to injury.
Zynga is not only losing cash as its share price plummets, but staff too. The most recent departure is Cityville general manager, Alan Patmore, who's left the company to join "midcore" competitor, Kixeye.
Competing companies poaching each other's staff is nothing new, but there's something special, and dare I say entertaining, about how gleefully Kixeye is putting the boot in.
"We wanted to pry people out of roles where their visions didn't match where their company was going," chief executive of Kixeye, Will Harbin, told VentureBeat. "Zynga is about making games for grandmothers. There are a lot of talented game developers at Zynga working on games they don't really care about."
"Alan only had a brief journey into the dark side at Zynga," he continued. "He developed valuable skills there. We were looking for people who had AAA game experience and had made the transition to free-to-play social games. Now Alan will come back to the light side."
The "light side" is Kixeye's particular brand of free-to-play online strategy games, which certainly share more in common with traditional core games than Zynga's efforts. Rather ironically, Kixeye was originally called "Casual Collective, inc."
Patmore, who once worked as vice president of product development at Double Fine, was less inclined to bash his former employer.
"I'm a big fan of Kixeye and what they've been able to accomplish over the last couple of years," he said. "I believe that there's a massive opportunity to bring AAA production value to core, free-to-play games, and Kixeye is perfectly positioned to lead that charge. I couldn't be more excited about the team, strategy, and product road map. There are some launches coming later this year that are going to set the industry on fire."
Source: Tech Crunch