Zynga's Chief Creative Officer Abandons Ship

The Wooster

King Snap
Jul 15, 2008
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Zynga's Chief Creative Officer Abandons Ship


Zynga CCO, Mike Verdu, is leaving to start up his own studio.

Zynga's chief creative officer (okay, go to the comments section and get it out of your system) has announced that he's leaving the company, effective immediately. Verdu stresses that his departure, which closely follows that of chief operating officer, John Schappert, has nothing to do with the array of lawsuits, fiscal woes and accusations of insider trading the company is facing. He's actually just keen on making his own games.

"I personally don't want to add to the noise level," he said. "I think this will be a good thing for me and for Zynga. I'm concerned about how this might be viewed with what else is going on, but it's not a function of anything else going on at the company."

While their relationship may be over, Verdu and his former employer are staying in the friend zone; Zynga is investing in the unnamed startup studio and will be publishing its games.

"I represented the creatives at the senior management level and I was always careful to make sure their voices were heard," he added, "so when the company made the decision about products, I made sure the creatives had a role. It can be a delicate balancing act, given the company's metrics-driven approach."

Verdu is following in the footsteps of Erik Bethke, Jeremy Strauser and Alan Patmore, all of whom have left the company following - but not necessarily because of - its financial troubles.

According to a previous report from AllThingsD [http://allthingsd.com/20120810/downinthedumpsville-morale-sinking-at-zynga-along-with-stock-drop/], morale at Zynga's headquarters is at an all-time low. Long hours and a stressful working environment no longer seem appealing to the workforce as the stock options management has offered them depreciate by the day. Sources at other companies have reported a "flood of resumes" from Zynga staff, indicating that it isn't just the company's upper management that smells smoke.

Source: AllThingsD [http://allthingsd.com/20120828/exclusive-zyngas-chief-creative-officer-mike-verdu-exits-to-start-a-new-company/]


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FogHornG36

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Jan 29, 2011
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Creative officer of Zynga, oh im sure he is just a wealth of talent, it takes someone real creative to come up with the idea of "copy other people's work, and then add a button so people can sent you real money to buy game stuff."
 

Twilight_guy

Sight, Sound, and Mind
Nov 24, 2008
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The thoughts of Zynga upper management:


When your bosses start rapidly leaving the comapny, i think that's an employees que to get the fuck out of the company before it implodes. Zynga is sinking and its employees are all going to start jumping ship. Oh well, at least a bad company run by bad people went down, though its still sad that the employes will possibly all lose their jobs.
 

TheMadJack

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Apr 6, 2010
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"Zynga's chief creative officer (okay, go to the comments section and get it out of your system)"

I chuckled at that. Hard. Twice.
 

Metalrocks

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Jan 15, 2009
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lol. must really suck to get your ass kicked from an evil company like ?A. just in this case, it serves him right.
working on new game?! must be a game they have copied again. this it has to be from a indie developer who doesnt have that much money. maybe this unnamed game is a clear rip of from orcs must die.
 

weirdee

Swamp Weather Balloon Gas
Apr 11, 2011
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I was wondering if it was possible for an imaginary person to quit a company, and now I know.
 

frobalt

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Jan 2, 2012
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Zynga's chief creative officer (okay, go to the comments section and get it out of your system)
While there are a lot of jokes to make about this (Creative officer? Don't they mean Intellectual Property Thief? etc) the first thing I though of is that this new company could well just be a scapegoat company that carries on Zynga's practices under a different name.

Maybe I'm just cynical though.
 

Bernzz

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Apr 9, 2020
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"We're all leaving the company at once. Oh, no, it has nothing to do with the way our company's going down the shitter. Nothing. I swear." *shifty glance*

Who actually believes that, seriously?

What's he gonna do with his new studio? More of the same old Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V, or will he think this time?
 

vxicepickxv

Slayer of Bothan Spies
Sep 28, 2008
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Chief Creative Officer.

I guess it must be a title describing how they can throw together the "new" concept with their games, and call it such in a press release. I want to know how he found out where the bodies are buried to get funding from a flailing company to magically become a publisher.
 

Dastardly

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Apr 19, 2010
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...except at the end of this version, it turns out Cinderella was really the pumpkin all along.
 

Caliostro

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Jan 23, 2008
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Grey Carter said:
Zynga's chief creative officer (okay, go to the comments section and get it out of your system)
Hey hey, don't make fun of it! I'd love to have that job. It's like EA's PR. There aren't a lot of jobs that pay you to do absolutely nothing. Think of all the free time you'd have to do things you care about while being paid AND earning resume credits!

Edit: Either that or it might be the most depressing job in the world... Imagine actually being forbidden to do your job. Like, you'd do a comic for The Escapist, and they'd go "yeah, that's nice... But we'll just rip off this other comic here... But keep trying!".
 

gigastar

Insert one-liner here.
Sep 13, 2010
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Chief Creative Officer?

So has he been paid for the last 4 years to basically twiddle his thumbs while the actual development team at Zynga reskins whatever they reckon they can get away with and then slapping 'ville' on it somewhere?
 

bobmus

Full Frontal Nerdity
May 25, 2010
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The only reason this story caught my eye was to see the jokes about Zynga's 'Creative Officer'. Well done everybody.
 

RJ 17

The Sound of Silence
Nov 27, 2011
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I bet the REAL reason this CCO is leaving is because they stopped buying him Beggin' Strips and Kibbles'n'Bits.
 

cynicalsaint1

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Apr 1, 2010
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Grey Carter said:
"I personally don't want to add to the noise level," he said. "I think this will be a good thing for me and for Zynga. I'm concerned about how this might be viewed with what else is going on, but it's not a function of anything else going on at the company."
"Yeah I've decided that I want to build a new house. What? No! Of course that doesn't have anything to do with the fact that the house I'm currently standing in is on fire, why would you think that?"
 

McMullen

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Mar 9, 2010
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Ninja'd by the first sentence in the article. I think that's a record.

Caliostro said:
Think of all the free time you'd have to do things you care about while being paid AND earning resume credits!
I wouldn't want that on my resume.
 

Formica Archonis

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Nov 13, 2009
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Grey Carter said:
While their relationship may be over, Verdu and his former employer are staying in the friend zone; Zynga is investing in the unnamed startup studio and will be publishing its games.
Are we sure this is a real thing or are Zynga trying to patch together a Zynga 2.0 to bail to en masse when the axe falls?