Ins and Outs: August 2023’s industry hires roundup

Here are the highlights from the recent industry hires and moves, as published in MCV/DEVELOP’s August 2023 issue. 

CHRIS SPEARING has started a new role as chief partnerships officer at the Companion Group, a studio that specialises in live multiplayer game development, games as a service, and other tech-based backend services for the games industry. He’s worked in the video game industry for over 20 years, and has held executive roles at Sony, PDP and Logitech.

KRASIMIR NECHEVSKI is now at Gunzilla Games, where he’ll serve as animation director on their upcoming battle royale game Off The Grid. He comes to them from Unity, where he worked on short film projects that received millions of views.

Sumo Sheffield has hired SOPHIE BENEFER as a senior writer. She describes herself as a ‘mezzo soprano cat-crazy TV and games writer’, and got her start in theatre and TV before making her move into video games. Sophie is also a Women in Games ambassador and mental health first aider.

JAMI SALATI is now over at Sumo Leamington, where he’ll be working as a level designer. He’s been in the games industry for over six years working on all sorts of titles, but most recently worked as a combat designer on the strategy game Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, making him lucky enough to have worked on both the Mario and Rayman franchises at the same time.

Atomhawk has taken on JENNY BREWER as a senior principal UI/UX artist. The user experience is something Jenny deeply cares about, and she’s worked in the sphere since 2011 when she started her career at Lionhead Studios as a user interface artist on the Fable titles. Outside of work she enjoys listening to metal and drawing animal illustrations. (Not the one from The Muppets, as far as we’re aware, but you never know with their shared love of rock.)

ALIX TAYLOR-SEARLE is now a producer at Auroch Digital. This is their first job in games. They’ve spent the last ten years working in film and television, on projects for the BFI, the BBC, as well as working with other independent financiers and production houses.

Bandai Namco Europe has appointed ANTHONY MACARÉ as the chief marketing and sales officer on its executive team. The publisher has said that his appointment to the executive management team will reinforce its go-to-market strategy and maximise its efforts in the west. Macaré has been with the company since 2013, when he joined after leaving a role at GameTap.

HERVÉ HOERDT has also rejoined Bandai Namco Europe, and is now its chief content officer after its acquisition of Reflector Entertainment. The company has said that his appointment highlights its continued focus on content creation and publishing and deepening its regional foothold. He first joined Bandai Namco back in 2009 as its sales and marketing director for France, and last worked for them as recently as 2019.

ZA/UM has hired NICOLAS PIROT as a Lead Technical Artist for Unity. He spent five years at Rocksteady, working on superhero projects like Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League as a senior technical artist. He is presumably now working on whatever the studio is doing next after Disco Elysium. (Something similar, we hope.)

Xbox has made yet another acquisition this month, as BECKY ARMSTRONG has joined Bethesda as its new UK community manager. She’ll work on all titles at Bethesda, including the highly anticipated Starfield, and long-running games like The Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76. Becky previously worked at Assembly Media, where she led the UK social media strategy and day-today execution for Xbox UK.

Having realised her heart lies in indie games, MELISSA CHAPLIN has left her previous role as growth director at Waste Creative to take on the exciting adventure of freelance consulting. She’s based in London and is now available for marketing, business development, and pitch deck support.

There must be something in the water down in London (other than all the chalk) as CAIT GOODALE has also left her job as head of UX at metaverse fashion game studio Drest to set up a new UX consulting business called Dilettante Design down in the capitol. She’s doing well and has already started to work with big names from both the UK and international indie game dev scene like Glowmade, Lumi Interactive and Electric Saint.

TANYA MACHINJIKE has joined the team over at as an account manager. She comes to them from similar B2B accounts roles at SAACKE Combustion Services Ltd and The Student Room Group. She’ll be working with George Corner, in what is her first role in the video game industry.

Speaking of GEORGE CORNER, has also promoted him to sales manager. He previously worked for ReedPop as a trade event account manager for nearly two years, developing a proven track record of negotiating and delivering partnerships with some of the biggest names in games from around the world.

Player Research has hired its very first game accessibility lead in AMÉLIANE F. CHIASSON, who has made accessibility in games her focus since 2020. After spending time working in QA and user research, she ended up building the first accessibility department at Eidos Montreal, where she worked on games like Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Life is Strange: True Colors, and more.

Over at Dead Good PR, BONNIE ADAMS has been promoted to junior account manager. She’ll be leading on accounts like Fulqrum Publishing and Prismatika, as well as working on titles from THQ Nordic, Maximum Games and Jackbox Games. When not doing that, you’ll probably find her taking on the many factions over in New Vegas.

About Vince Pavey

Vince is a writer from the North-East of England who has worked on comics for The Beano and Doctor Who. He likes to play video games and eat good food. Sometimes he does both at the same time, but he probably shouldn’t.

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