Ins and Outs – July/August 2021’s industry hires roundup

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

Lasse Von Fintel Sostack

Splash Damage starts our special bumper edition of Ins and Outs with seven new hires. First, Lasse Von Fintel Sostack joins as a level designer. Sostack co-founded an indie game company in 2016 called Tunnel Vision Games who released their first commercial game at the beginning of 2020.



Pauline Martyn

Next up, Pauline Martyn joins as an associate technical narrative designer. Before joining Splash, Martyn worked as a junior narrative designer at Ubisoft Reflections for two years. In that time, she focused on narrative and cinematic design for Assassin’s Creed VR.

Alan O’Dea

Alan O’Dea meanwhile joins Splash as product manager. Before joining Splash, Alan lectured in Games Business and Production at Staffordshire University.

Ashley Sparling

Ashley Sparling joins as a lead character artist. Before joining Splash, he was working as a lead character artist on an unannounced title at Jagex.


Africa Curiel Galvez

Africa Curiel Galvez joins Splash Damage as a narrative designer. Before joining Splash, Gálvez was a narrative designer on Anno 1800 at Ubisoft Mainz. She began at Ubisoft as a game writer, prior to this she was working at Nomada Studio on Gris while located in Barcelona.

Amy Stevens

Still at Splash, Amy Stevens  joins as a technical narrative designer. Stevens previously worked as a technical artist at Sumo Newcastle on Hood: Outlaws and Legends.

Lucian Branescu-Mihaila

Finally at Splash Damage, Lucian Branescu-Mihaila joins the company as a principal backend engineer. He previously worked at Digit (now part of Scopely) on Star Trek: Fleet Command.

Felicity Hague

Sumo Digital also has seven new hires. First, Felicity Hague joins Sumo Sheffield as HR admin lead. Hague is an experienced HR specialist with over 15 years experience, including as deputy HR manager at Home Instead

Marcus Skov

At Sumo Leamington meanwhile, Marcus Skov joins as technical UI director. Skov joins the team in Leamington following experience at Frontier Developments, as a UI Designer and W12 Studios, as a Product Designer.

Mike Hooton

Still at Sumo Leamington, Mike Hooton has joined as product manager. Hooton joins the team following eight years of experience as a product manager at Konami Europe, working on Yu-Gi-Oh! Digital and Trading Card Games.

Diego Rivero

Diego Rivero has joined Sumo Sheffield as a programmer. Rivero has twelve years of experience in the games industry prior to joining Sumo, and has spent the last six years working as a UI developer for EA Games.

Charlie Poyser

Next up, Charlie Poyser joins Sumo Group as a social marketing manager. Poyser joins the team at Sumo Digital following six years of experience within digital marketing.

Sean Quinn

Sean Quinn joins Sumo Leamginton as live operations manager. Quinn worked in investment and project management for 11 years, before pivoting to the games industry. Since then he has worked at Pixel Toys and Kwalee as an Analyst, with his most recent experience as a contractor for Warner Bros. and Rocksteady.

John Foster

Finally at Sumo, John Foster has joined Sumo Sheffield as lead game designer. Foster has 18 years experience working at both small indie studios and Sony PlayStation.

Graham Smith

There’s a changeup in the leadership over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Former editor in chief Graham Smith has left his role after over six years to work as audience development manager for ReedPop.

Katharine Castle

Replacing Smith is former RPS hardware editor Katharine Castle. Castle joined RPS back in 2017, and was previously our most excellent news editor here at MCV.

CCP Games has four new hires at their London office.

Grant Tasker

First, Grant Tasker joins CCP’s London studio as their first brand director. Tasker will be leading marketing efforts to take their online tactical shooter to new horizons.

Alistair Forbes

Alistair Forbes joins the London studio as a core tech engineer. Forbes previously worked as a developer at Spirit AI and King.


Kurtis Lamb

Kurtis Lamb is another new employee at the CCP London Studio, who joins as a senior back end engineer working on distributed systems and infrastructure at MMO scale. Lamb comes from Covea Insurance and Trans Union UK.

Matt Southall

Matt Southall is the new 3D asset artist for CCP London. His role there is to create a wide range of 3D assets for the environment team. Southall has a wealth of experience in the industry, including Splash Damage and PixelHeros Games.

Chris Pfeiffer

Runescape creator Jagex has two new hires. First, Chris Pfeiffer is Jagex Partners’ new director of product management, with responsibility for leading a team of product managers and developing a strategy for driving long-term player retention for new titles.

Stuart Bottell

Stuart Bottell comes onboard as platform partnerships Lead at Jagex, Bottell has previously held commercial manager roles at EA and then PlayStation.

Frank Sagnier

EA has announced the departure of both Codemasters CEO Frank Sagnier as well as the CFO Rashid Varachia.

The pair will be stepping down from their roles in July, and it was revealed in a statement that their departure had “always been part of the plan.”

Rashid Varachia

Slightly Mad Studios’ CEO Ian Bell will remain in his position, while Clive Moody (SVP of product development) and Jonathan Bunney (SVP of publishing) will now lead Codemasters.

Bradley Crooks

Curve Digital has appointed two new executive producers. Bradley Crooks joins having enjoyed stints at 22 Cans as COO, and at the BBC as global head of games & interactive.

Rich Keen

Rich Keen also joins the company as an executive producer. In the games industry, Keen is best known for his time as marketing director at Sony PlayStation.

Matt Styles

Matt Styles has moved on from a long stint at Gamer Network/ReedPop to join Roucan as commercial director. Roucan was established at the beginning of the year by David Lilley, former head of events at ReedPop UK.

Louisa Keight

Louisa Keight has joined Ukie as their new Communications and Content Officer. Keight has previously worked at the advertising agency RD Content and has joined Ukie following a stint in the press and complaints team at renewable energy specialist Bulb. This is her first job in the industry.

Charlotte Nangle

Charlotte Nangle has left her position as partnerships manager at Gamer Network/ReedPop to join Neonhive as their new brand manager. Nangle was previously at Curve Digital, and holds the honour of having previously been Develop’s sales manager and MCV’s account manager.

Melissa Chaplin

Robot Teddy has hired two new consultants to join the team. First, Melissa Chaplin joins the team from Game If You Are, where she was working as head of client strategy, having been promoted from the role of marketing strategist. Chaplin is a Women in Games ambassador, and has worked for the likes of Salix Games and ORA Pearls.

Sam D’Elia

Robot Teddy’s second new consultant is Sam D’Elia. D’Elia joins from BAFTA, where he has spent the past five years. D’Elia joined BAFTA in 2016 as a partnerships manager, before being promoted to games awards officer. D’Ella has also worked for London Book & Screen Week.

Ben Maltz-Jones

MCV/DEVELOP 30 under 30 alumni Ben Maltz-Jones has joined Larian Studios as a commercial operations specialist. Maltz-Jones joins from Rebellion, where he spent the past two years, having joined in 2019 as a social media & marketing executive, before being promoted to community manager. He has also previously worked for REWIND, Nintendo of Europe and omuk.

Danielle Amos

Danielle Amos has joined Honest PR as senior PR manager. Amos’ previous roles include senior PR positions at the likes of UberStrategist and Heaven Media. Prior to that she worked in house at Jagex for just under a decade.

Dr. Gina Jackson OBE

Video games mental health charity Safe In Our World has announced that Dr. Gina Jackson OBE has joined as CEO. Jackson became an OBE in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours, she is also a recent recipient of the MCV/DEVELOP Women in Games award for Outstanding Contribution.

Tom Moore

Tom Moore has joined SIDE Audio as their marketing manager. Moore joins the team from Havas entertainment, where he worked for two years – joining the team as an account executive before being promoted to account manager. He has also previously worked at Bright Bee PR.

Joost van Dreunen

Joost van Dreunen has joined Niko Partners as an advisor. Dreunen was the co-founder and CEO of games market research firm SuperData, and also teaches at the NYU Stern School of Business and is author of One Up: Creativity, Competition, and the Global Business of Video Games.

Simon Byron

After six years, Simon Byron is leaving his position as publishing director at Curve Digital. Byron didn’t share details on where he was headed next, saying on Twitter: “Enormously proud of the work I did there but now it’s time for a change. I’m currently working through exactly what that looks like. I hope to confirm something very soon.”

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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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