In spite of the recent layoffs, Zynga is still picking up talent in strategic areas like social casino gaming.
The company bought a roughly 40-person team called Spooky Cool Labs full of real-money gaming talent. Based in Chicago, the Spooky Cool Labs team is made up of social and real money gaming veterans from companies such as Aristocrat, and slot machine makers like IGT (International Game Technology) and WMS Gaming. The company’s founder Joe Kaminkow was ranked as one of the 10 most influential people in the history of slots by Strictly Slots Magazine.
But from Spooky Cool’s website, the company looks like it had been working on non-casino titles like a Wizard of Oz city-building social game. Zynga says that access to this Wizard of Oz brand is part of the deal.