Here's why yet another EA designer ditched for Zynga

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Civilization 4The latest in the parade of EA employees marching off to social gaming powerhouse Zynga is Soren Johnson, GamesIndustry International reports. Most recently a resident of EA working on famed designer Will Wright's ambitious Spore game, Johnson joined the social game company way back in September 2011 to begin work as a design director on his first project.

He's been working on that secret project ever since. But before even joining EA, Johnson was one of the main men behind Civilization 4, the fourth in the series that designer Brian Reynolds helped start. Unsurprisingly, it was Zynga convert Reynolds and Zynga East general manager (and former Firaxis fellow) Tim Train that convinced Johnson to join the studio.

However, it was also Zynga's apparent interest in exploring new game types that drew the Civilization designer in. "Ultimately, I told Tim and Brian what type of game I wanted to make, and Zynga is now giving me the chance to make it," Johnson told GII. "The greatest opportunities today are for games that connect players and avoid the traditional retail model of gaming. Zynga suddenly made sense for me when it became clear that they wanted to experiment with new types of games in this space."

As for what that game is exactly, Johnson can't say much. However, he did reveal that it's quite the departure for Zynga. "I can say that I am working on a game that would not be a shocking departure from my development history, but one that is multiplayer-focused, free-to-play, persistent, and playable in the browser," Johnson teased. "Most importantly, the game is one that actually ends, with real winners and real losers." (We'll just see about that.)

Are you surprised to hear of yet another EA employee leaving for Zynga? What kind of game do you he's working on? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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