Mobile gaming juggernaut Zynga has announced that it is opening a new development studio to work on a new game based in the Star Wars universe. The studio will be based in Austin, Texas, and Zynga are recruiting dozens of technical staff, designers, and production experts to help create the new title.
Jeff Hickman, Senior Vice President at Zynga and head of its NaturalMotion studio, will be partnering with fellow BioWare alumnus Matthew Hemby to lead the development team. Hickman, who has been based in Austin previously during his tenure with EA, states that the talent pool within the city will be “highly compatible” with Zynga’s aims of creating AAA gaming experiences on mobile platforms. Hemby previously worked with Hickman as Lead Development Director on Star Wars: The Old Republic back at BioWare.
This announcement comes in the wake of Zynga’s impressive 46% jump in revenue last financial quarter, cementing it as an absolute behemoth of mobile gaming. The financial success of previous mobile titles, as well as recent popular Star Wars installments such as Star Wars: Squadrons and Jedi: Fallen Order, indicates that this new game could prove an extremely lucrative source of revenue for the publisher. Whether EA (who own exclusive rights to develop “core” Star Wars experiences) will feel territorial about this “AAA on mobile” title remains to be seen.
We’ll be bringing you more news on Zynga’s Star Wars offering as it comes. Make sure to follow Checkpoint on social media for all the latest gaming updates!