Joshua Ortega

Former Gears of War Writer Joins Zynga

Joshua Ortega, whose writing credits include the Gears of War franchise, has begun working at Zynga as a “senior narrative designer” overseeing massively mulitplayer online games as reported by VentureBeat.

Ortega, a former journalist who has also worked on Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica spin-offs, has been confirmed as working for the social game company which has made it’s name with popular titles such as FarmVille on Facebook.  Today Zynga has nearly 3,000 employees now among which are 150 veteran game designers.

There was a time of course when Zygna was looked down and the consensus was that the company’s titles didn’t need a story such was there simplicity. Ortega’s move however demonstrates the progress the company has made and we will likely see a more sophisticated kind of experience coming from the San Francisco based game maker.

This is also likely an indication of the direction of the industry as senior developers and studios move towards social and mobile.

Ortega once said he entered the games industry for “my love for the medium and the art form. Video games, interactive entertainment, dynamic storytelling … whatever term we use to describe this medium, I’m just really excited that we’re finally being recognized as a legitimate art form.”

Though this news has only been confirmed now Ortega left Microsoft Games Studios in April and has been working for Zynga since.

Zynga has confirmed his appointment.