Relic founder joins Zynga as president

Alex Garden, the original founder of Relic Games and the man that would go on to make the Homeworld series, has been hired by Don Mattrick over at Zynga, to bring some serious game development experience into the Facebook game maker, and perhaps do something to bail out the sinking ship.

"On a personal note, I met Alex 25 years ago when he began his career working as a game tester for Distinctive Software, which I founded in 1982. He is an exciting hire for us as we focus on growing and sustaining our franchises, creating breakthrough entertainment experiences and developing more creative leadership across Zynga," said Mattrick.

He announced earlier this week that while Zynga Poker and Farmville 2 were growing, overall revenue was down tens of millions over the same quarter last year, so it's no wonder he's looking for new blood to do something worthwhile with the company - especially after he was hired on last year to do the same and doesn't seem to have helped much yet.

Of course with Gearbox owning the Homeworld brand, we can at least avoid Zynga bastardising that series for its own gains, though potentially it could copy the entire thing and just rename it - it's done that before.

However what we're likely to see out of Garden is a leveraging of his experience at Microsoft as head of Xbox Live, to instil some kind of gamer community around Zynga products - as Microsoft, while falling behind in the current console generation, certainly won the last one with its online modes.

Along with the appointment of Garden, Zynga is also shifting around its other senior management, including founder Mark Pincus becoming chairman of the board of directors and ending his role as CPO.

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