Zynga’s chief game designer Brian Reynolds departs

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Brian Reynolds On its rise to online casual game domination, Zynga (Farmville, Mafia Wars) was able to coax a number of high profile developers and executives to its offices to help the studio continue to flourish.

Following the company’s IPO (Initial Public Offering) as it went public with shares on the stock exchange, however, Zynga’s fortunes have been anything but rosy.

Zynga has been haemorrhaging top talent and staff for over a year now and despite a jump in share prices ahead of the company’s upcoming financial report, one more big name (arguably the biggest) has departed the studio.

While Brian Reynolds may be better known to some as one of the talents behind classic titles such as Alpha Centauri (while at Firaxis) and Rise of Nations (while at Big Huge Games as CEO and creative director), he left the hardcore game development scene to take up a position at Zynga as chief game designer at the company in 2009.

At Zynga, Reynolds was responsible for the design and development of Frontierville and touched the designs of other Zynga titles, too, including Cityville 2. In a statement to the press, Zynga President of Games Steve Chiang said of Reynolds’ departure:

“Brian has a long history in the game industry and has been a great partner to the creative leaders at Zynga. I want to thank him for his leadership of the Zynga Baltimore studio in the design and development of FrontierVille, which brought many innovations to social gaming.

“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. We wish Brian the best in his next chapter.”

Where will Brian Reynolds go next and will he get back into strategy game design? Where do you hope to see him pop up in the future?

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