Zynga’s Bad Day Continues: Words With Friends Creators Leave The CompanyBy: Zach Walton - October 5, 2012
Zynga did not have a good morning. The company’s share price fell almost 20 percent in after hours trading last night, and is currently trading at $2.37. It seems like the day couldn’t get any worse, but it just did.
The two men behind Zynga smash hit Words with Friends have announced that they’re leaving the company after being with them for almost two years. Paul and David Bettner founded Newtoy in 2008, and were bought in 2010 after Words with Friends became an iOS phenomenon. Zynga paid $53.3 for the company alongside its 23 employees.
VentureBeat spoke to the Bettner brothers today, but the two decline to comment on their departure. They are the latest to leave the company after dwindling stock prices caused a mass exodus of talent from the once king of social games.
The Bettner brothers are unsure of what they’re going to do next, but they told VentureBeat that they are “very excited about the future.” The two used to work at Microsoft’s Ensemble Studios on the Age of Empires franchise. Perhaps the two can help bring real-time strategy games to a wider audience on social and mobile platforms.
Regardless, the two have already proven that they have what it takes to survive in the incredibly competitive, and increasingly crowded, gaming industry. Words With Friends was a huge success, but their next game may be even bigger.
We’ve reached out to Zynga for comment on the Bettners’ departure from the company. We also asked if their departure will have any effect on the “With Friends” studio that creates some of Zynga’s more popular games. We’ll update this story once we hear back.