Publisher doubles down on existing game portfolio; unveils new mobile studio in San Mateo
Over the last week, NCSOFT® West has made two major announcements with the news of Blade & Soul coming to the West this winter and WildStar going free-to-play this fall. Not only is NCSOFT West doubling down on its existing portfolio of products, from WildStar and Blade & Soul to Aion and Lineage II, it is also expanding to new platforms with an additional focus on mobile gaming.
“Over the last several months, we’ve begun to lay the groundwork to increase NCSOFT West’s investment and prominence in the West,” said Dr. Songyee Yoon, CEO of NCSOFT West. “Now, with our full executive team in place, new mobile studio open in San Mateo and a number of other key initiatives underway, we have a strategy that will drive our acceleration and position the company as a key leader in the Western games industry.”
As part of NCSOFT West’s growth and expansion, the company recently opened a new mobile studio. NCSOFT West plans to grow the studio significantly over the next year. The new studio will work to develop high quality, innovative titles that are both new IP and also leverage NCSOFT’s existing game portfolio.
“NCSOFT West is poised for acceleration,” said John Burns, senior vice president of publishing at NCSOFT West. “We are expanding our product pipeline via more products from our Korean HQ, from M&A activity and via a heavy focus on mobile development. We also continue to accelerate by building on the existing great teams and people we have here at NCSOFT West and by adding additional areas of expertise that support our expanding cross-platform initiatives.”
Since December, 2014, NCSOFT West has filled a significant number of roles across its mobile, corporate development and publishing teams and is currently hiring for number of key positions at http://us.ncsoft.com/en/jobs/.
Key recent hires to the executive and senior management team include:
- John Burns, senior vice president of Publishing and business services at NCSOFT West – John’s responsibility includes building and managing a world class publishing organization that increases NCSOFT’s ability to market products through all platforms and channels. Prior to joining NCSOFT West, John held several leadership positions within the gaming industry including Trion Worlds, Electronic Arts and Activision where he managed some of the world’s largest entertainment launches across a variety of platforms including online and mobile.
- Jesse Taylor, senior vice president of Mobile – Jesse leads the mobile development team. Jesse has more than 27 years of experience in the videogame industry, having held leadership positions at companies including Electronic Arts, Sega, Namco, Midway and Glu Mobile. Most recently at Glu Mobile, Jesse was the senior vice president of game development where he oversaw operations at four studios located in Russia, China, India and Brazil.
- Michael Chang, senior vice president of Corporate Development – Michael works to identify new opportunities to grow NCSOFT’s product portfolio. Michael previously led Electronic Arts’ acquisition and investment activity in F2P mobile and PC gaming. Prior to EA, Michael worked in the venture capital and private equity industries.
- Daren Chencinski, general manager of NCSOFT West Mobile – As an experienced product development executive, Daren has a strong background in production, design, monetization and product management for mobile games. Daren most recently served as General Manager for Moscow Studio at Glu Mobile, one of the leading mobile game developers in the world.
- Jeff Pabst, vice president of commerce – Jeff joins NCSOFT from SEGA Europe where he was Director of Product Management for its Online Platform and F2P games. Formally a Management Consultant, he made the shift into the game industry after his MBA at London Business School and hasn’t looked back. With integral roles at both Trion and Microsoft, Jeff has managed both commercial and technology teams to deliver online games and entertainment.
- Tim Granich, senior director, Marketing – A veteran of nearly 20 years in the game industry, Tim has launched brands at companies including 989 Studios/Sports, Midway/Sport/Sports Asylum and most recently, Sony Online Entertainment. He has launched games on nearly every console, hand held and PC platform available since 1998. Tim has worked with some of the highest profile intellectual properties in the world, including the likes of the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, Warner Bros., Lucas Films, Village Roadshow, MTV, DC Comics and J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings).
- Ben Conrad, director of Corporate Communications, Public Relations and Events – Over the last 16 years, Ben has led corporate and product communications efforts on behalf of top technology and gaming companies. Most recently, Ben led global public relations for Sony Online Entertainment’s EverQuest franchise. Prior to SOE, Ben managed corporate and product PR for KingsIsle Entertainment and the popular online family titles Wizard101 and Pirate101.
- Omeed Dariani, director of Community – Omeed is a 17 year veteran of the game industry, having gotten his start creating the Magic: the Gathering website StarCityGames.com. He has since worked for a number of companies, including Hasbro and Sony Online, created two television series and worked on a wide variety of amazing properties, including Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean, EverQuest, and Pokémon.
For more information on NCSOFT West, visit www.ncsoft.com .