Zynga's chief game designer resigns, wants to work with smaller team

By John Keefer, Jan 30, 2013 4:45pm PST

The talent loss at struggling social game company Zynga continues as the company's chief game designer Brian Reynolds has resigned, saying he is looking to get back into the nitty gritty of game design.

Reynolds, who led the design for FrontierVille and headed up Zynga's Baltimore studio, confirmed in a Facebook post that he wanted to work with a small team again and get back to "hands-on" game design. He said his almost four years at Zynga was "exciting to be there at a time when new rules being written for a new industry." He didn't go into any detail but promised in a tweet that he would be "back soon."

Zynga acknowledged the departure in a statement (via Polygon): "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 Steve Chiang, Zynga's president of games.

Reynolds joined Zynga after he left developer Big Huge Games in 2009 when it was acquired by 38 Studios. Prior to that, he had worked on such RTS classics as Rise of Nations, and Civilization 2 and Alpha Centauri while at Firaxis.

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