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Big Huge Games Founder Joins Social Game Developer

by Rainier on June 30, 2009 @ 5:13 a.m. PDT

Social games developer Zynga appointed Brian Reynolds to the newly created position of chief designer, where he will lead the product development team and will be responsible for developing new social strategy games.

Reynolds, an eighteen-year industry veteran, is recognized as one of the industry’s most talented and productive game designers and was honored by PC Gamer as one of 25 “Game Gods.” Reynolds played a key role founding two successful videogame studios: Firaxis Games and Big Huge Games and masterminded the design of several smash hits including Civilization II, Alpha Centauri, and Rise of Nations, as well as Catan for Xbox360 Live Arcade. Reynolds’ videogames have sold over six million copies worldwide.

“Brian is not only of the most widely respect game designers, he is also uniquely gifted in that he has mastered the art of programming,” said Mark Pincus, CEO and founder, Zynga. “Brian’s dual specialty gives him the substantial advantage of being able to bring his own visions to life. He has built a reputation for finely tuned game-play.”

“Zynga is one of the most dynamic companies that will have a profound impact on how people connect through games,” said Brian Reynolds. “On top of this, Mark has a created a team of some of the smartest and most talented people in games and I am thrilled to come on board at this exciting time in the company’s growth.”

Reynolds will head up operations at Zynga East, expanding the company’s presence on the East Coast. In 2009 this office will begin with 12-15 employees, including game designers, web developers (PHP, MySQL, Flash), artists, and producers. Based in Baltimore, Md., production efforts will be focused on creating new social network games on Facebook and other platforms--particularly games with a strategic emphasis.

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