It's no surprise that Zynga has been struggling recently. They shut down 11 of their games and even closed their Japan studio, as well as their Boston location, so it makes sense that employees are on edge as far as where they stand with unemployment, and many people are getting out of there before even more hellstorms start up, including the company's chief game designer, Brian Reynolds.
The company announced today that it will be losing an icon in the gaming industry. Reynolds was a part of the design team behind Civilization 2, Alpha Centauri, and Rise of Nations. He joined Zynga in 2009 to head up head up Zynga East in Baltimore, and he eventually helped out with games such as Frontierville and Cityville 2.
Zynga President of Games Steve Chiang says that he and the company "appreciates Brian's contribution," and they "wish Brian the best in his next chapter." Details are pretty scarce as far as when Reynolds' last day is or if he has already departed the company, but there are no immediate plans to assign a new chief game designer, but it's certainly a possibility in the future.
Before he joined Zynga, Reynolds was the CEO and creative director at Big Huge Games, as well as a founding team member of Fireaxis Games. Besides the Rise of Nations trilogy, Big Huge Games also developed Catan, the Age of Empires III: The Asian Dynasties expansion pack, and most recently Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.