Area/Code becomes Zynga New York

We are excited to announce that, as of today, the Area/Code team will be joining Zynga. Area/Code Games is now Zynga New York.

With a new name, the company will be in the same place, with the same amazing team we’ve built up over the years. Frank Lantz and Demetri Detsaridis remain on as Creative Director and General Manager, respectively; co-founder Kevin Slavin remains nearby but focused on other new ventures.

Zynga is the undisputed leader of an industry in the midst of an important transition. Social games have demonstrated massive popularity and commercial success even as they are still developing; Area/Code’s ideas, passion and experience will now participate in that development.

For almost six years, Area/Code has been inventing new ways to play. From the earliest days in a tiny downtown office, we’ve been experimenting with novel combinations of technology and media, creating games that overlap with the real world in surprising ways. Area/Code began 18 months before the Wii hit the shelves, a few years before the first social game on Facebook, years before a phone with an App Store attached to it. Every time a new mode of interaction emerged – whether it was cameraphones, GPS, broadcast co-viewing, or the Facebook API – we took every opportunity to use what we found to push the boundaries of where we play, when we play, and who we play with.

While we were working hard, so was everyone else; the “videogame industry” bears little resemblance to what it looked like when we started. The way to get a game in the hands of a million people years ago is quite different from today’s landscape of 600 million Facebook users.

This is the number one reason the studio is evolving: we want to make great games on a large scale. Our ambition is to contribute in a major way to the evolution of games on social networks, to make games in this space that are deeper and more interesting, games that reward the time and attention of the millions of people who play them with complex, meaningful experiences. We believe our best shot at doing this is working with Zynga, the biggest, most successful company in this space.

Zynga is smart. They know you can’t just optimize on what stands, that you also have to push forward and explore new ideas. That’s an exciting business to be in.

The future of social games is a vast territory filled with unexplored potential. Six years after we started from nothing, we are just as ready to roll up our sleeves, step into the center of the storm, and discover how to make great games for the most people on the biggest platform in the world.

There are, of course, many people we would like to thank for helping us get here, but we would especially like to express our gratitude to our advisors at Creative Artists Agency and Evolution Media Capital.

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