Atari appoints new dev VP

Turbulent publisher Atari has announced the appointment of John Hayase as its senior vice president of product development.

He joins from Sony Online Entertainment where he served as executive director of development and studio head, working on titles such as EverQuest and Free Realms.

His job will see him overseeing development at owned developers Cryptic Studios and Eden Games and managing current and upcoming titles such as Test Drive Unlimited 2, Neverwinter and Blade Kitten.

John joins Atari during an essential growth period in which we continue to transition our business toward the online space while maintaining a focus on retail,” Atari CEO Jeff Lapin stated.

His strong background leading development teams to produce free-to-play MMOs, digital and retail console products with some of the industry’s most respected publishers, will serve Atari well as we move forward.”

Hayase himself added: I can’t think of a better time to join Atari as the company expands its games business online. I look forward to leading Atari’s talented studios and delivering memorable gameplay experiences, further contributing to the company’s development and success.”

Last month Atari revealed that it was once again on the path to reinvention, with its focus now said to be on online and social games, as well as leveraging its stable of popular retro IP.

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