It’s rare to receive news in the mobile/social space that’s truly exciting, especially to me as a gamer, but some unexpected news has surfaced via Zynga. The mega giant that has no problem throwing down $180 million like it’s nothing has secured yet another company to add to their stable. Joining the ever growing list of games under the Zynga umbrella is A Bit Lucky. While applause should be given to the folks at A Bit Lucky for hitting gold, the more interesting news is the industry veteran that has joined Zynga.
Along with Zynga’s acquisition of A Bit Lucky, which didn’t sell on a scale similar to that of Draw Something dev Omgpop, the company announced that John Tobias is joining the San Diego branch to serve as Creative Director. Fans of fighting games will likely know Tobias as he’s the co-creator for the classic fighting game franchise Mortal Kombat. Eventually Tobias went on to leave Midway in 1999 and proceeded to co-found his own company, Studio Gigante.
After the closure of Studio Gigante in 2005 Tobias went on to do freelance consulting work which included working on games such as WET. He may have been a free agent more or less for the last seven years but now Tobias has found a home with Zynga. A small tease was given concerning Tobias’ role within the Zynga empire as it was revealed he’s working on a new game to fit the mid-core focus the company is now going towards.
Not a lot of gamers may be terribly excited about Zynga or what it has to offer, but it is cool to see Tobias return to gaming once again in a rather pivotal role. Having co-created one of the most defining games of the industry it’ll be cool to see what Tobias does next – even if it’s a small browser or mobile game. Seeing Tobias go back to his roots and develop a fighting game would be ace, but seeing a different side of the famous MK creator would be welcomed as well.
Again, this news may not be that key to core gamers but it shows the ever changing landscape of the business as more and more developers are going outside the core gaming box to try something different. Whether or not such a risk will pay off is the big question as we all know gaming fads can come and go rather quickly.