Social game developer Zynga, known for its wildly successful games Mafia Wars and FarmVille, is opening a new development studio in the Los Angeles area, the company confirmed to Gamasutra today.
Located in Marina Del Rey, the studio will be San Francisco-headquartered Zynga's second satellite studio. Last year, it opened a Baltimore office spearheaded by Alpha Centauri and Civilization II designer Brian Reynolds, co-founder of Big Huge Games.
"Zynga LA will be very much like our Zynga East office in Baltimore where it will be a studio for our new games," a Zynga rep said to Gamasutra. The studio does not have a concrete staff target, with the rep explaining that Zynga is "looking to expand and scale our talent as we grow."
The company says it chose the Los Angeles area "because of the talent in both interactive entertainment and Web which is essential for social games."
At least some of the studio's founding employees come from the core game space. Confirmation of the studio was first publicly given by former EA designer Amer Ajami, who worked primarily on Command & Conquer titles for most of the last decade.
That's not a coincidence, says Zynga. As the company rep explained, "Zynga has been successful in combining the DNA of traditional gaming that of the Internet to build a new kind of entertainment company."