If there was ever a testament to how even the most hardcore gaming enthusiasts are in jeopardy of being overtaken by the uprise in the casual, social fare that the industry is beginning to see, it would be this story. A man with a seemingly top-of-the-line job in the video game industry for one of the biggest hardcore franchises has just left that job to work for Zynga.
We're talking about Joshua Ortega, who has a highly impressive resume. He was written for Marvel Comics, DC Comics, TokyoPop, and pretty much every other major comic book and graphic novel publisher in the US. His work has been seen in properties like Star Wars, Spider-Man, Star Trek, and Battlestar Galactica. Most recently, he was involved with the story of Gears of War 2, which gained significant acclaim for its masterful plot and writing style.
So it would seem to be counter-intuitive that he would accept a position at a casual gaming company that focuses more on quick, accessible gameplay than high-concept storylines. He joins the company as "senior narrative designer" and will be resonsible for upcoming online and mobile titles. This could represent a push for Zynga to start pushing its limits. We'll see.