Former Zynga design chief and Firaxis dev wants to bring back strategy through mobile

Brian Reynolds considering new studio

The industry may get another mobile strategy studio with Brian Reynolds at the helm.

Formerly the lead games designer at Zynga and a veteran of titles like Alpha Centauri, Civilization II, and Rise of Nations, Reynolds explained his departure from the social gaming company in a guest post on Venture Beat.

"I think my favorite part, throughout the whole Zynga experience, has been the sense that we were writing new rules for a new industry," he says of his time at Zynga.

"It felt strange, but awesome, to make an arbitrary decision in April and then by August see the entire social games industry doing exactly that same thing."

Reynolds praised the speed and ingenuity of the all-star team gathered by CEO Mark Pincus but said that after more time there than he had spent even at Firaxis, it was time to move on.

"I’m ready to shift into a different gear. I miss getting to write code personally and make fun ‘with my own hands.’ And suddenly, the tablet and mobile world look like they might be on the verge of a strategy games renaissance – hey, I used to be good at making those! – and free-to-play is leading the way," writes Reynolds.

"Not that Zynga isn’t willing and even eager to have me do that, but I even miss, in a funny way, the day to day panics of being somewhere small and new and vulnerable, and the excitement of owning a small company. I want to experiment more than might be appropriate for a publicly traded company, and I might want to do something that would be ‘off strategy’ for Zynga or otherwise too risky."

The solution could very well be taking a leap of faith and founding a new studio.

"So I’m getting that itch, and though I need some time to think about exactly what I want to do next," said Reynolds.

"I suspect that ‘starting a little studio with a few wingmen’ — for the fourth time in my career — is likely to be on the menu."

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