Ins and Outs – April 2021’s industry hires roundup

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

Splash Damage returns to utterly dominate Ins and Outs this month, with an absurd 12 new hires over at the company.

First, James Austin joins as lead cinematic artist, working on an unannounced new project. Austin has previously worked as an art director for FASA Games, and before that spent four years at Ubisoft Toronto.

Jacob Arbib also joins the company, as an assistant systems programmer. Prior to joining Splash Damage, Arbib interned as a Unity Developer at the Amsterdam-based DTT.

Still at Splash Damage, Sam Spice joins as an associate lighting artist. Spice recently graduated from Staffordshire University with a first class degree in Computer Game Design.

Stefan Helier joins Splash Damage as a senior gameplay programmer. Helier was previously at Fabrik Games  as a senior software engineer.

Jacob Simpson joins the company as an assistant level designer. SImpson has just recently graduated from the University of Central Lancashire, with a degree in Game Design.

Next up, Dominic Pugh joins Splash Damage as a character artist. Pugh was previously at Bomper Studio, working as a 3D character artist. Prior to that Pugh has worked for the likes of Legion Studios and Airship Images Limited. On top of his work as a character artist, Pugh has worked as a figurine sculptor – sculpting the range of official ‘Cuphead’ figurines for Studio MDHR

Ben Laws is also among the onslaught of Splash Damage hires, joining the company as a lead systems programmer.

Where are they finding space for all these people… Bromley must be booming!

Anyway, Splash Damage has also hired Aaron Ketteringham as an associate technical designer.

Still at Splash Damage, somehow, the company has hired yet more people. Sam Forster, for instance, has joined the company as a cinematic animator. Forster has previously worked as a facial animator, working for the likes of Foundry 42 and Cubic Motion, and has worked on games such as Wolfenstein 2 and Star Citizen.

Meanwhile, Roderick McDougall joins the company as a senior game designer. Prior to joining Splash Damage, McDougall spent 6 years at DICE – joining as a product manager in 2014, before becoming a game designer in 2017.

Fiach O’Donnell joins Splash Damage as an associate technical audio designer. Before he joined the company, O’Donnell was working as a systems engineer at McKesson.

And last, but not least, Sabina Jochnick has joined Splash Damage as senior development manager. Before joining the company, Jochnick worked at DPS Games.

Sumo Digital has a couple of promotions to announce this month.

First, Graeme Allarton has been promoted from game designer to senior game designer. Allarton is an experienced designer with ten years’ experience at Sumo, in his time he’s helped ship titles such as Forza Horizon 2, Crackdown 3 and more.

Second, Sumo Digital has promoted Justin van Oort from a junior technical designer to technical designer. Joining from university in Breda, he started at Sumo 2 years ago on an internship.

There’s a new hire over at Sumo Leamington too: Dal Hundal joins the team as an associate technical director.

After four years at Steel Media, Danielle Partis has left her position as editor of, to join Partis is an MCV/DEVELOP Women in Games award winner, and launched Influencer Update during her time at the company.

Johnny Chiodini has left tabletop website Dicebreaker, where he had been the head of video since 2019, joining the team from his previous role at Eurogamer.  Chiodini is also the DM for Outside Xbox and Outside Xtra’s D&D series The Oxventure. For his new role, Chiodini has launched his own Patreon to support his future independent work.

There’s some movement over at GAMINGbible too. Ewan Moore has been promoted to senior journalist, in recognition of his work over the last six months, driving record traffic and providing vital support to new hires, as well as social packaging and promotion.

Finally, the former New York Times journalist specialising in video games, Seth Schiesel has joined Microsoft as their new director of executive communications. Announcing his career move via Twitter, Schiesel remarked that “Together, we will continue to extend the joy and community of gaming to people everywhere.”

Got an appointment you’d like to share with us? Email Chris Wallace at

About Chris Wallace

Chris is a freelancer writer and was MCV/DEVELOP's staff writer from November 2019 until May 2022. He joined the team after graduating from Cardiff University with a Master's degree in Magazine Journalism. He can be found on Twitter at @wallacec42, where he mostly explores his obsession with the Life is Strange series, for which he refuses to apologise.

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