Here are the highlights from the recent industry hires and moves, as published in MCV/DEVELOP’s November 2023 issue.
EMMA McDONALD has been named the new COO of Newzoo. Emma started at Newzoo eleven years ago as a data analyst and worked up to the director of marketing role, which she has held for the past seven years. In her time, she has supported games industry clients, including Facebook, Amazon, and YouTube. She recently earned her MBA at IE Business School.
Over at Diva, LIBBY WALKER has been promoted to client brand director. She’s been at Diva for four and a half years, but has spent over ten years in marketing and branding. She’s now taking the lead on new business initiatives and develops new products and services to meet clients’ changing needs in their markets.
Also promoted over at Diva is JACK DAVIS, who is now client partnerships director. He’s been at Diva for over five years, and looks after big global accounts for PlayStation and Activision. In his new role he intends to improve client relationships so that Diva can continue to provide the best quality of service possible for its partners.
RON ASHTIANI is the new chair of the board of directors at Nequinox Studios. Ron brings 25 years of experience with him to the near-Manchester studio, and you might recognise him from his time at Atomhawk, or for his time as chair of the board at SockMonkey Studios. You might also be interested in a small indie project he worked on called the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Anyone heard of that?
Dlala Studios has hired STEVIE COLE as its new senior character artist. We don’t know what the studio is currently working on, but Stevie has held a variety of games art related job roles in the past, at studios like Sega Hardlight, Playtonic Games and Rare, so we’re sure it’s exciting. Stevie also taught art for a bit at Weston College & University.
SAMRA TANGESTANIAN has joined the team over at Wushu Studios, where she’s the principal cinematic designer. Samra’s first role in the industry was at Digital Extremes in 2012, contributing to Warframe. Later, she moved to the UK to work with Creative Assembly’s marketing team as a cinematic artist, creating assets for trailers. Since then, she’s been involved in marketing projects for games like Suicide Squad, Shadow Warrior III, and The Quarry.
Also at Wushu Studios is VLADIMIR YUDIN, who is the latest principal technical artist to become part of the staff. With around 20 years of experience in the game industry, Vlad has collaborated with teams at Sony, Disney, Microsoft, EA, and Improbable. He has also ventured into the interactive and production industry, working with companies like Framestore, Imagination, and Happy Finish.
PASQUAL BATALLA has joined the team at Sandsoft Games as its new chief operating officer. He was previously COO of SocialPoint, a Spanish mobile games company owned by Take Two Interactive, which is known in the space for games like Social Empires, Dragon City, Tasty Town and Word Life.
ELTANIN CASCIANI is now the community manager at Sumo Leamington. They were previously the community and communications lead at Junkfish. Before that they were working over at Frontier as the primary on Planet Zoo, as well as assisting on Planet Coaster and Jurassic World Evolution 2. They are also a nonbinary advocate for the games industry.
Meanwhile, at Atomhawk, SARAH TEH has joined the team as a UI/UX artist. She has previously worked as a freelancer in the same role for Cactus Jam Games, as well as as a product designer for Xero. She’s also the founder of small indie developer Wombok Games, and describes herself as ‘passionate about crafting delightful, interactive experiences’, so she seems like a good get.
MARCELO PINHEIRO is also now at Atomhawk, joining the squad as a senior 3D artist. He specialises in characters and their creation, and works on them from first sketch to final render. In previous roles he has worked primarily on models for TV and in collectibles figures, and this is his first foray into a big games company.
GEORGIA MAY SIGSTON has taken on a mission at Secret Mode as its community content executive. It’s her first job in video games, but she was previously working as both a barista and a content creator part time for the last six years. She has a degree in creative media and film, and a masters degree in AI, which also means that if Secret Mode ever decides to publish a The Terminator game, they’ve got a perfect marketing opportunity lined up already.
RHEYN SCHOLTZ is now an experienced programmer at Sumo Warrington, using his programming know-how to the studio’s benefit on an unannounced game. He spent the last three years at Rebellion North, working on console ports and some of their other secret projects. How mysterious!
CHERISH GOLDSTRAW has become a games writer at Lab42 Games, making a transfer from a role in games marketing at Sumo Leamington. She has been a freelance writer working in the games industry and interactive media for over a decade, having previously written for SEGA, Paramount, the BBC and MGA Entertainment.
Over at Ubisoft, SANDRA WARREN has been appointed as vice president and executive producer for the Far Cry brand. In her new role, she’ll manage teams located around the world, including the ones on our ‘sunny’ little island. Sandra first joined Ubisoft in Montréal back in 2006, and has also worked on Splinter Cell and Assassin’s Creed.
Finally, Supermassive Games has appointed GARY ROWE as its chief publishing officer. He brings with him 25 years of experience, including time in similar roles at Curve Digital, Green Man Gaming, Codemasters and SEGA. Now that he’s at the company, he’ll be responsible for expanding the publishing team and continuing its steady growth following the release of Switchback VR.