There are few phrases in English more euphemistic than “Zynga’s Chief Creative Officer.” Well, it turns out that is actually a real position, and Mike Verdu, the holder of that title, is bailing. As a “Chief Creative” at a company that has been accused of doing little more than shamelessly ripping off other games, it is hard to even imagine what Verdu’s job actually entailed. Maybe it goes a little something like “No, no, use the exact shade of blue that EA uses. We don’t want this to be a shoddy knock-off. We want this to be a full-fledged clone, god damn it!”
Electronista quotes Verdu as saying that he is “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.” Nope, there is certainly no way that continued leadership evacuation and legal issues have anything to do with Verdu getting the hell out of Dodge. Not no way — not no how.
Verdu will be creating his own game company, and Zynga will be investing in it. We all look forward to seeing what this unparalleled creative mind will be cooking up. Maybe World of Battlecraft, Mass Cause, or Mineart will be on the table at his new studio. Whatever the case, we’ll be sure to let you know as soon as the new company is accused of plagiarism.