EA social games exec ditches for the top dog, Zynga [Rumor]

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EA Jeff KarpAnd, no, this would certainly not be the first. Develop reports that Jeff Karp, an executive heavily involved with EA's social games efforts, is leaving for number one competitor Zynga. More specifically, Karp was executive VP of EA Play, the company's family-friendly games division, as of six months ago.

The website cites an anonymous US source that "engages with EA at senior levels," and said that Karp has made his intention to leave known. Karp, after an 11-year stint with the veteran games publisher, joins former EA CCO John Schappert in his reported move to Zynga.

In fact, Karp would join a number of former high-level EA employees in his move to another social games company. Just recently, it's been rumored that creator of NBA Jam and former senior creative director at EA Sports Mark Turmell left for Zynga in July. And way back in June, we know that Ben Cousins, GM of EA casual game developer Easy Studios, left to head Ngmoco's Sweden studio. Of course, who could forget former EA CCO Bing Gordon, who is now an investor in the creator of CityVille? (And the list goes on, really.)

The news comes as EA shifts its leadership structure to include existing high-level EA employees Peter Moore, Andrew Wilson and Frank Gibeau in even more senior roles. Amidst losing several execs, EA just released The Sims Social to Facebook. While it suffered performance issues on its first day out of the gate, it's certainly an ambitious effort on the platform, and one that could help make EA a viable competitor in the social games space. We've contacted both EA and Zynga for comment.

Do you think Karp, if true, made a good decision in joining Zynga? How do you think EA is going to handle losing this many of its high-level employees, namely in its casual and social sectors? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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