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With ex-Zynga developer carrying the flag, Kixeye invades Canada

Kixeye has invaded Canada. And it has hired a former Zynga developer to lead the charge.

The San Francisco maker of social games for hardcore gamers — known best for its kick-ass recruiting video and hardcore social games like Battle Pirates –is opening an office in Victoria, British Columbia. It has also hired a former Zynga developer Clayton Stark as the general manager for Kixeye Canada. That’s not going to help relations with Zynga, which sued Kixeye and former employee Alan Patmore for trade secret theft after he joined Kixeye.

Kixeye says it is generating record revenue month over month, every month, and it expects to reach “nine digits in revenue” by year end. The new game studio is the third office for Kixeye, in addition to its expansion in Brisbane, Australia.

“Our search for top talent is not limited by international boundaries,” said Kixeye chief executive Will Harbin (pictured). “Victoria is a hotbed of technical talent, and Clayton and his team have aggressive goals to expand Kixeye Canada.”

Stark will lead the efforts set up the studio in his hometown of Victoria. He has more than two decades of experience. He served as chief operating officer at Mercurial Communications, which helped to develop and restart the 8.0 browser for Netscape, and was the chief technology officer and vice president of engineering at Flock, which created “the social browser.” Flock was acquired by Zynga in 2010, and Stark worked at Zynga as director of development.

“Victoria is exploding with engineering talent and is one of the largest tech hubs outside of Silicon Valley, especially for game companies,” said Stark.  “It’s also consistently ranked among the most beautiful cities in the world, and we’re setting up Kixeye Canada right along the inner harbor at Bastion Square. For developers, it doesn’t get any better than working on projects they’re super passionate about, and having an incredible amount of fun while doing it.”

Founded in 2007, Kixeye has more than 300 employees. Meanwhile, Kixeye has hired a general manager from Kabam. Justin Lambros has signed aboard as a Kixeye employee, according to his LinkedIn profile.


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