Social Coup: Sony Execs Leave To Start New Social Gaming Company

The brain drain from big, corporate gaming companies to small, social gaming studios continues. The latest giant to take a hit is *Sony* Online Entertainment (SOE) — creator of the wildly successful Free Realms MMO. Three key execs in its Seattle studio have left to launch social gaming startup Detonator Games. Detonator hasn’t released its first game yet, but it’s already building a Facebook presence (a smart strategy for generating buzz with future players).

The execs, Matt Wilson, Corey Dangel and John Smith, were working on The Agency, SOE’s long-awaited multi-player spy game; their departure has sparked concerns that the game will be delayed, but Sony (NYSE: SNE) execs told Eurogamer that wasn’t the case: “The team in Seattle is still working diligently on this project … The Agency is not undergoing a reboot of any sorts.”