Zynga Alums Launch Game Startups to Battle Zynga

Defectors build mobile games to outflank their former employer
Illustration by 731

One mile north of Zynga’s shopping mall-size headquarters in San Francisco, a dozen employees at JuiceBox Games crowd into a single-room office with one window and Ikea desks. They’re building a smartphone card-collecting game called HonorBound, which will compete with Zynga’s War of the Fallen and similar mobile offerings when JuiceBox launches it this summer. While the company has a fraction of the team and budget typically required for such a project, its three founders worked together at Zynga before striking out on their own last year. “We’re able to take risks that other companies may not be interested in taking,” says JuiceBox Chief Executive Officer Michael Martinez.

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