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Ins and Outs – February 2019’s industry hires roundup

Here are the highlights from the recent industry hires and moves, as published in MCV’s March issue.

Sumo Digital has made a few senior hires recently. Industry veteran Dean Trotman, formerly at Sega and Codemasters, joined as commercial director. Meanwhile, Chris Southall – who also comes from leadership roles at Sega and Codemasters – will be applying his expertise in producing free-to-play and mobile games as studio director at Sumo’s new Leamington Spa mobile studio. Last but not least, Deeptha Vijayan has been appointed as studio director of Sumo’s India studio in Pune.

Philip Oliver and Andrew Oliver – co-founders of Radiant Worlds, which is now Rebellion Warwick – have departed Rebellion to set up their own video game consultancy business, Game Dragons. Philip Oliver said: “We’re delighted with what the Rebellion Warwick team has achieved over the last year, and we are confident they’ll continue to flourish. But we’re both looking forward to this next chapter and we’re excited to get started.”

Bandai Namco has appointed a new EMEA PR, communications and events director, Wouter van Vugt, based in the firm’s French office in Lyon. He’ll be overseeing and creating global communications strategies for titles including The Dark Pictures Anthology, Jump Force, Ace Combat, Tekken and Dragon Ball. He will be reporting into Herve Hoerdt, SVP of digital and marketing.

After an eight-year absence, Volition founder Mike Kulas has returned to the studio as general manager. Kulas was at Volition – which he originally founded 18 years ago as Parallax Software – until 2011. Since then, he’d spent time working at Revival Productions on Overload, the spiritual successor to Parallax’s Descent.

Tom Goldberger, formerly at Ubisoft and Red Bull, is now communications director for Athlon Games, parent publisher of a number of studios, including Splash Damage and Digital Extremes.

Rovio Entertainment has appointed Jon Howard as its new head of communications and PR to drive the company’s communications during the Angry Birds tenth anniversary year. He formerly was lead PR product strategist at Nintendo of Europe and most recently head of PR and influencer relations at Flaregames.

Women in Games WIGJ has appointed a new four-person executive board, consisting of Dovetail Games’ chief people officer Gemma Johnson Brown, Abertay University’s Ruth Falconer (head of division, computing and mathematics, at the School of Design and Informatics), plus Women in Games’ CEO Marie-Claire Isaaman and founder and COO David Smith.

Wargaming and Riot Games veterans Jerry Prochazka and Lynn Stetson have created Ganymede Games, a new independent studio based in Las Cruces, New Mexico. It will focus on creating “games that are easy to get into, and easy to get out of.”

Former EA and Activision executive Michael Condrey has joined 2K to lead its new Silicon Valley studio as president. Condrey co-founded Call of Duty studio Sledgehammer with Glen Schofield back in 2009. He left in February 2018 to take up “new executive duties” within Activision.

Keywords Studios’ company CORD Worldwide, an audio services provider to the games and entertainment industries, has appointed Alastair Lindsay as head of audio. He joins from Sony Interactive Entertainment where he led a global team of composers, music supervisors, sound designers and audio programmers as head of audio.

Improbable has appointed ex-Dreamworks Animation and EA Mobile CTO Lincoln Wallen as its new chief technology officer. Wallen’s hire will see current CTO and co-founder Rob Whitehead focus on developing SpatialOS and other Improbable technology as chief product officer. Meanwhile, Improbable’s former chief creative officer, Bill Roper, has announced that he will be leaving the company for a new role at indie gaming studio Author Digital. Wallen said: “I’m excited by the chance to shape the incredibly talented engineering team at Improbable into a world-class technology organisation.”

About Marie Dealessandri

Marie Dealessandri is MCV’s senior staff writer, having joined the publication during its days as a weekly magazine. After testing the waters of the film industry in France and being a radio host and reporter in Canada, she settled for the games industry in London in 2015. She can be found (very) occasionally tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate, Hollow Knight and the Dead Cells soundtrack.

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