Studio founder Peter Molyneux to focus on duties as creative director

22Cans names Simon Phillips as new CEO

Godus developer 22Cans has appointed former FairPlay Media boss Simon Phillips as the company’s new CEO.

Phillips has over 20 years in the game industry, working as MD of Gusto Games and before that as art director at Silicon Dreams.

Following his appointment, studio founder Peter Molyneux will now focus on his duties as creative director.

The move has been described by the studio as part of a company “reboot”, with a host of other new hires also joining the developer. Anthony Straub has joined as producer from Asobo Studios, while Colin Gallacher, formerly of ShopTo, has been appointed PR manager.

Other new recruits include programmer Richard Williams, artists Annah Wootten-Pinéles and Shay Hulbert and programming intern Ryan Singh.

“Running a business, especially a fast paced business like this, takes a lot of energy and focus,” said Phillips.

“At 22Cans we have a mission statement and that is ‘to create world changing ideas’ and with Peter now able to fully immerse himself in the creative direction of not only Godus but The Trail and all the really smart, cool ideas we have, I believe we can do just that. It’s important for us, as a studio, to fully understand what it is we do best and what our role is in delivering our ideas. I want to ensure the lifeblood of the studio is as creative and dynamic as possible.”

Molyneux added: "Making a truly successful game means finding a great fit of both creativity and business. With Simon joining 22cans as CEO, we now have that fit.”

The news comes after a tough few months for the studio following controversy over its crowdfunded god game Godus, with claims the studio was far away from fulfilling promises it made during the Kickstarter campaign for the project. Features that hadn’t been delivered as of February included a multiplayer mode and Linux version.

During this time, some staff also departed the company, including producer Jemma Harris, and later, Jack Attridge. Other employees meanwhile were moved to new projects.

Molyneux addressed complaints about Godus directly, admitting he had made some “horrendous mistakes” during the Kickstarter campaign and Early Access release. A few days later, following a continued backlash, Molyneux said he was done talking to the press.

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