Zoo World creator RockYou's Jonathan Knight leaves for Zynga

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RockYou Jonathan KnightAnd there goes another. Inside Social Games reports that Jonathan Knight (pictured), former SVP of Games at RockYou, has left the company for Zynga. The company's--best known for Zoo World--CEO Lisa Marino confirmed the move. Before his departure, Knight oversaw the acquisitions of studios like 3 Blokes, which just launched Galactic Allies, and Playdemic of Gourmet Ranch fame.

"We hired [Knight] to help us build out a portfolio of great products and he's done the job," Marino told ISG. "We have built a strong team of talent through a careful hiring process, our Studio Partners program, and acquisitions over the past year. The departure of Jonathan will not impact our game development pipeline or our plans to continue to launch quality titles."

Knight has a deep history in the games business, coming to RockYou from veteran publisher EA as VP and executive VP for nine years. During that time, Knight oversaw major releases like entries in The Sims series and The Simpsons Game. In fact, ISG recalls that Knight was brought in to help RockYou transform from a social app developer into a social game creator.

The move happens just as RockYou prepares to launch Cloudforest Expedition on Facebook with designer John Romero's Loot Drop. Knight joins a number of major video game execs that have flocked to Zynga in the past year, many of which coming from EA. The company's CCO Jeff Schappert recently left for Zynga, who was then followed by NBA Jam creator Mark Turmell and EA Play exec Jeff Karp. We've contacted Zynga for comment as to what Knight might be up to with the company.

What do you think of Knight's move from RockYou to Zynga? What are your thoughts on RockYou's stable of Facebook games thus far? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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