Former Disney and Gearbox exec John Vignocchi joins Nintendo of America to ‘drive’ developer and publisher relations

Former Disney Infinity VP and Gearbox John Vignocchi has moved on from Gearbox less than a year after joining the studio. He announced he was starting with the Borderlands developer back in October 2018 but revealed last week he was moving on for a “dream opportunity” to work with Nintendo of America.

Vignocchi confirmed he would be driving developer and publisher relations – a job that “eight year old JV is freaking out [about] inside” – and will be based at the company’s Redmond HQ. “Love you, JV – you’re in it for all the right reasons. Absolutely rock the new gig! Our industry needs more like you,” Gearbox CEO, Randy Pitchford, said in a tweeted reply to Vignocchi’s announcement that he was moving on.

“I’ll be driving developer and publisher relations for North America so that Nintendo can continue to bring amazing content to all fans,” Vignocchi added. “I plan to help continue the tradition of building memories through Nintendo that will last a lifetime. I certainly have a lifetime of them already and can’t wait to make more. I’m humbled by this dream opportunity and will work tirelessly to bring you the best that I can.”

Vignocchi was at Disney Interactive for seven years before moving to serve as VP of production for Disney Infinity in 2012. He stayed with the franchise until Disney shuttered its self-publishing games division in 2016. The closure of Infinity chiefly affected Avalanche and resulted in nearly 300 job losses. Disney now operates a licensing model where other publishers can develop using its IP – such as EA with Star Wars Battlefront.

“I am humbled to join a company that has so many talented people in its ranks and honored to contribute to its legacy,” Vignocchi said at the time via a LinkedIn post.

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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