Here are the highlights from the recent industry hires and moves, as published in MCV’s November/December issue.
Mike Ybarra is joining Blizzard Entertainment as executive vice president and general manager. Ybarra announced the move stating “We will work with all our energy to serve gamers with incredible content and experiences.”
Harvey Eagle has been promoted to director for Xbox Live product marketing, placing him in charge of overseeing Xbox Live growth.
Former MCV/DEVELOP business and development manager Alex Boucher is leaving to join Team17 as their new head of sales: new business. On top of his new job, Boucher is continuing his work as managing director of Analog Ltd and at Game Dev Heroes, of which he
is the co-founder.
Staying close to home, Former MCV content editor Jake Tucker has joined Red Bull UK as games editor. Tucker has previously worked as a freelancer and associate editor at Trusted Reviews.
Jagex has added new senior leadership to its development teams, making three key hires across the organisation. Having been introduced to the Runescape community at this year’s RuneFest, Ryan Ward joins as the new executive producer of Runescape. Ward most recently worked at Blizzard Entertainment as product director of Overwatch. Additionally, Ward was previously director of product at Epic Games, and a producer at Nexon, LucasArts, CCP and Bioware working on titles such as Fortnite, Star Wars, Eve Online and the Mass Effect franchise.
Meanwhile, Rob Hendry has been appointed executive producer of Old School RuneScape. Hendry has over 20 years experience in the industry, having started his career working on Starlancer at Warthog Studios, More recently, Hendry was head of studio at Ideaworks, managing the mobile game teams working on IPs such as Call of Duty, The Sims, Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil and Final Fantasy.
Finally, Gavin Irby joins Jagex the new creative director. Irby previously worked for Bungie, where he was design lead for Destiny 2, and also worked on the original Destiny as lead raid designer and senior designer. His other prior roles include lead content designer for RIFT at Trion Worlds, and Irby has also worked at Carbine Studios and Flying Lab Software.
Mi5 Communications has two new hires. Anna Erlandsson joins as nordic community manager. Erlandsson is the former president of Swedish gaming association Sverok, and worked as project leader for the Female Legends mentorship program.
Meanwhile, Isabell Rydén is the new PR assistant. Mi5 founder Marcus Legler stated: ”It’s been an eventful year and the digital entertainment industry keeps on growing. Mi5Com has been around for 14 years and with our unique expertise and knowledge of the Nordic market, we further reinforce our position with these recruitments.”
UK publisher Sold Out has appointed Gina Jackson in the newly created role of development director. Jackson was previously head of games at The Imaginarium, and has held roles as CEO of Women in Games and MD of NextGen Skills Academy. She is also currently vice-chair of GamesAid, an assessor for the UK Games Fund, a trustee for the BGI and part of UKIE’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion group. “I am delighted to be joining the hugely diverse team at Sold Out,” said Jackson.
Oscar Dayus has joined PCGamesN as their news editor. Dayus has a number of former jobs in the gaming press, including as GameSpot’s associate editor and as Pocket Gamer’s staff writer and he also undertook an internship with Videogamer.com.
Ryan King has joined SEGA as their new senior international PR manager. Regarding the move, Ryan tells MCV/Develop “It’s a dream move for me, given I’ve been a huge SEGA fan all my life! I am absolutely thrilled to be working with such a great team and on such exciting titles.” King was previously head of PR at Hadean, and he has also worked for Lick PR, Next Level Media and Imagine Publishing.
OlliOlli and Laser League developer Roll7 have announced that Paul Abbott is joining the team as Lead Artist, working on an unannounced “exciting original IP project.” Abbott has previously worked as art director at Wish Studios, and as lead environment artist at Creative Assembly. Roll7 celebrated the announcement, telling MCV/Develop “Paul Abbott represents a key hire as part of Roll7’s planned growth as a distributed studio, he is a remarkable lead and brings so much experience to our team… Watch this space!”
Jack Langley has joined Wargaming as their senior PR manager, spearheading Wargaming’s portfolio communications in the UK and to support the growth of the new Wargaming UK studio in Guildford. Langley previously worked at Alfred, where he worked across the agency’s games clients as a Senior Account Manager, including 505 Games, Gearbox Publishing, Voodoo and Square Enix Collective.