(JoopDorresteijn/CC)

The Zynga logo on a billboard

The force is strong in Austin, bringing with it plans for a new Star Wars mobile game to be headquartered in the city.


Mobile game developer Zynga, famously known for titles like "Farmville" and "Words with Friends," announced it would develop a new "Star Wars" game in their existing Austin office on Monday.

Zynga will pair with subsidiary NaturalMotion and UK-based NaturalMotion company Boss Alien to develop the game, led by NaturalMotion Senior Vice President of Games Jeff Hickman and BossAlien General Manager Matthew Hemby.

Hickman said he believes in the talent in Austin to create the game. There will be a lot of Star Wars knowledge on the team—Hickman previously helped create BioWare's online game "Star Wars: The Old Republic."

"As a longtime Austinite, I know firsthand the immense level of talent and creativity that resides in this beautiful city," Hickman said in a statement. "We believe that the Austin talent market is highly compatible with our mission of bringing AAA console visuals and deep, compelling gameplay to mobile platforms."

The new team is looking to hire 25 new employees, including engineers, level designers and internships. View the full list of openings here.

The challenge for all of us this Thanksgiving is letting go of what we've lost in this tough year and treasure what we still have.

We at Austonia are thankful for you. Since we launched our site in April, we've done our best to connect you to Austin, with stories ranging from the important to the delightfully superficial. Your response has been strong and we are grateful.

At this time of thanks, we have a variety of stories for you. Laura Figi writes about "a greener holiday," food trends, and Friday shopping. Emma Freer writes about a nearby annual Native American heritage celebration. And Roberto Ontiveros brings us a thoughtful piece that looks at the human toll of Austin's gentrification—the often painful flip side to having shiny new bars, restaurants, and apartments—in this case it's displacement of the Black community on East 11th Street. Finally, we ask you how you're celebrating the holiday this year.

Our best to you and your loved ones!

—The Austonia Team

You can now buy earrings designed by UT students at Kendra Scott

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