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Social startup Idle Games poaches CityVille lead designer

San Francisco-based startup Idle Games has hired industry veteran Michael McCormick away from Zynga, where he was the lead designer for CityVille, to serve as its game design director.
San Francisco-based startup Idle Games has hired industry veteran Michael McCormick away from Zynga, where he was the lead designer for CityVille, to serve as its game design director. Though he worked at Zynga for only a year before leaving in January, McCormick led the design team for the social game giant's biggest title on Facebook -- CityVille has nearly 47 million monthly active users on the social network, and has been the most popular game there for more than a year now. McCormick has worked in the industry for some 20 years, designing games and leading teams at developers like Electronic Arts, Backbone Entertainment, Playfirst, and HumaNature Studios. Idle Games, which describes itself as "the instigator of a holy war against social games that suck and/or aren't actually social," has brought McCormick in as it prepares to launch, Idle Worship, on Facebook in two weeks. The game is built on the company's Idle Engine, a distributed simulation platform designed to create "unsharded game worlds," or worlds that don't separate and distribute players across multiple servers, with patent-pending synchronous and asynchronous social game mechanics. Established in 2009 by Playdom co-founder Rick Thompson, Idle Games has 58 employees, according to CrunchBase. Last October, the developer announced that it had secured $10 million in a second round of funding, bringing its total amount raised to $19 million.

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