Zynga relieves Schappert of his games duties

Zynga’s current crisis may have claimed its first high-profile games executive.

The Wall Street Journal reports that John Schappert has been stripped of his duties relating to Zynga’s video games operations.

Schappert rocked the games world in April 2011 when it was revealed that he had quit his role of COO at EA to take up the same position at rival Zynga.

It was seen at the time of further evidence of the shift of power from traditional triple-A console publishing to the emerging social and casual gaming sectors.

"We can confirm that in order to unify our company around a multiplatform approach, we reorganized our teams in July to integrate web and mobile groups," a Zynga spokesperson stated.

"Our players expect their favourite games on every platform and we want to unlock everyone in the company to continue moving quickly against the multi platform opportunity."

Chief mobile officer David Ko and executive VP Steve Chiang will now take control of Zynga’s games strategy. Both will report to chief exec Mark Pincus.

The news comes as Zynga enters its most testing time as a games company. Its current stock value is some 70 per cent down on its initial offer when it floated in December.

Last week’s financial results were a disaster for the firm and could yet lead to further pain with the news that its internals share dealings are currently being investigated.

It has also announced plans to broaden into the real-money gambling sector in an attempt to reverse its fortunes.

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