Here are the highlights from the recent industry hires and moves, as published in MCV/DEVELOP’s July 2022 issue.
DORSHA THOMPSON has joined the Dead Good team in the UK as a PR consultant, assisting on a variety of accounts, including GameMill and THQ Nordic. As well as being a content creator in her own time, Dorsha brings a wealth of experience from her previous role as a PR executive in the events management industry.
For those interested in the head of casual mobile games role that was going at Kwalee, the position has been filled by one CALLUM GODFREY. Callum started his career at Codemasters, working on the likes of Colin McRae Rally and Operation Flashpoint, so having David Darling as his ultimate boss again represents something of a homecoming.
Meanwhile, bequeathing his Kwalee swivel chair is MATT SUCKLEY, who has ended two and a half years in PR at the company and scooted down the M40 to permanently don a VR headset at Farnborough’s nDreams as its corporate communications manager.
BECKY SLAYMAKER has joined mobile specialist Team Huuuge (nee Gamelion) as its chief people officer, moving on from two and a half years as HR director at Miniclip. Prior to Miniclip, Becky was at WH Smith and Paddy Power.
Two recent hires at Just Add Water include BEN HINCHLIFFE, who joins as lead designer having spent close to 13 years at Rockstar Games, where he picked up design credits on the likes of GTAV and Red Dead Redemption 2.
Alongside Ben is NADINE RENDELL-GREEN, who comes into the team as a junior designer, having completed a degree in Games and Interactive Media Design. Nadine will be looking to make a splash (sorry) as the studio looks to expand into its new Leeds HQ.
Staying in Leeds, XR Games has a bunch of new hires, six in fact. First we have SIMRAN WHITHAM, who is the new marketing executive. Simram previously worked at Milky Tea Studios where he was head of player engagement.
After studying with Escape Studios and a short stint at Story Juice, MAXIM ISAKOV has also joined the ranks of Zombieland’s finest VR game maker as a junior 3D artist on an unannounced project.
Joining Maxim in the art corner is MAX SPURLOCK, who joins XR Games as a senior technical environment artist. Prior to XR, Max was a senior environment artist at Bulkhead Studios and spent three years at Cloud Imperium Games before that.
Aiming to keep things running smoothly at XR Games is new IT technician TOMMIE KATE, who is taking up their first position in the games industry having joined from a Leeds based company that makes and sells doors. One of which certainly opened up for Tommie (again, sorry).
Having worked part-time as a UI artist while finishing a masters in games design, LAURINDA TANG has since taken up a full-time position at XR Games as a senior UI artist. Previously Laurinda worked in a succession of gaming and other media organisations in China.
Finally at XR we have JOSEPH COOK, who has embraced a junior programmer role after a short stint as a QA tester at Codemasters. Prior to that Joseph was at the University of Derby where he studied programming.
Also busy recruiting have been SockMonkey Studios, which has welcomed a number of new hires across multiple disciplines, including ALEX HARKIN who joins the production team from Merge Games as a producer.
DEWI ROBERTS joins SockMonkey as head of design from Cheshire’s TT Games where, since 2007, he helped put together countless LEGO games as lead designer and associate game director.
Before joining SockMonkey Studio as its head of art, SARA CALZADA had an already established career working with such developers as Guildford’s 22Cans, TreesPlease Games and Netflix.
Finally at SockMonkey another hire is EMMA BERRY, who arrives at the studio from Thunderful’s Coatsink as an animator, with a portfolio that includes work on virtual reality game Jurassic World Aftermath.
Over at Wizards of the Coast there are seven changes, with four promotions, including that of ELISE ASHWOOD, who is promoted to associate brand manager UK for Dungeons & Dragons, after a successful internship. This is her first role in the games industry.
Promoted to brand manager UK, Magic: The Gathering is GEORGIA FIREMAN, who joined Wizards of the Coast in 2021 and has been at the forefront of its growth in the UK market ever since.
Magic: The Gathering also has a new EMEA brand manager going by the name of AMBER TURNER. Amber joined Wizards in 2020 as an intern and was promoted to associate brand manager early last year.
Finally on the promotions front, MARK WARD is now Wizards’ director of corporate communications EMEA & APAC. Earlier this year Mark celebrated a year at Wizards after 25 years at Warner Bros, Bastion and SEGA.
Over to the new Wizards now and we start with AMANDA COSTA, who after nine years working in supply chain planning for the pharmaceutical, food and entertainment industries, joins Wizards of the Coast as associate flow planner, EMEA.
BINITA PATEL has been hired as Wizards’ team lead customer service E-COM. Binita’s background is in supply chain and customer service, with 15 years of working with UK grocers and in ecommerce.
Previously the social media manager for Betway and hailing from the world of eSports (as a referee and semi-pro Pokémon player), LEONORA TOMLINSON-BENNETT is now the UK’s social and influencer manager at Wizards of the Coast.
Finally RYAN BLACKWELL joins Wizards of the Coast as senior key account manager, bringing to the company sales experience from businesses such as Energizer, Activision, Mattel, Spin Master Toys and, most recently, Reckitt.
There’s been something of an exodus from Manchester’s By Gamers For Gamers, with the WePC Gaming team all going their separate ways. The most recent to jump ship is guides editor CRAIG ROBINSON, who will be joining up with former WePC boss Paul McNally at Gamer Guides as an editor. Of more guides, we assume.
SAYEM AHMED has joined Dexerto as its new hardware editor, as the site works to establish a new vertical. This comes after ten months as news and deals editor of WePC. The thought of another Black Friday season overseeing articles about foot spas proving too much, it would seem.
Also moving on is DANIELLE ROSE, who trades in her violet WePC staff writer togs for the rather more striking orange and black of a PCGamesN guides writer. Hopefully she’ll have to update a few less Roblox code articles in her new role.
Ok, one more: JACOB WOODWARD is the new guides and reviews editor at GGRecon, having spent a comparative lifetime working on PC Guide and WePC – amassing more than two years at the company.
Finally, please welcome VINCE PAVEY to MCV/DEVELOP, who takes over from Chris Wallace as the magazine’s staff writer and future custodian of these pages. Until being plucked from relative obscurity, Vince was freelancing for VG247, Hero Collector and 110% Gaming magazine. Funnily enough, he was at WePC for a while, too.