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Zynga's latest loss: The Words With Friends creators

The co-creators behind one of Zynga's most popular mobile titles, Words With Friends, are leaving the social game developer, joining what's become an exodus of high-level employees from the company.
The co-creators behind one of Zynga's most popular mobile titles, Words With Friends, are leaving the social game developer, joining what's become an exodus of high-level employees from the company. Brothers Paul and David Bettner, both veterans from Ensemble Studios (Age of Empires), founded Words With Friends developer Newtoy four years ago. After Newtoy's mobile Scrabble-inspired game became a hit, Zynga acquired the studio in 2010 for $53.3 million and renamed it Zynga With Friends. The two confirmed their departure to GamesBeat, but did not comment on their time at the company or their reasons for leaving. Zynga has lost more than a dozen executives in the last two months, including COO John Schappert and many of the managers behind its most successful titles. This news comes just a day after Zynga lowered its overall outlook for the rest of 2012 due to weak earnings and new releases performing worse than expected. It expects around $300-$305 million in revenues, and a net loss of around $90-$105 million for the current fiscal quarter. Paul and David Bettner, who served as the general manager and studio director respectively for Zynga With Friends, are leaving the mobile studio during a time when its parent company is focusing more on smartphone games, following the users who are ditching Facebook games for mobile titles.

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