38 Studios Team Adds Two MMO Veterans to Its Team

Posted Fri, Mar 16, 2012 by Shayalyn

The success of the single-player console and PC RPG, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, developed by 38 Studios subsidiary Big Huge Games and released in February by publisher Electronic Arts, appears to bode well for its MMOG. Codenamed Copernicus, the MMOG was sidelined to make way for Reckoning. But 38 Studios today announced the addition of two new executive team members at the company's Providence, RI headquarters. John Blakely has joined as senior vice-president of development and Mark Hansen takes the role of senior vice-president of operations and business.

Before joining 38 Studios, Blakely was general manager of Zynga Austin, and also previously served as vice-president of development at Sony Online Entertainment, where he oversaw the development of several MMOGs including DC Universe Online and EverQuest II. Hansen served as senior director of Playwell Studios, where he lead the development, launch and operation of LEGO Universe.

"From its founding, 38 Studios has always been about team," said Curt Schilling, founder and chairman of 38 Studios. "I am proud to add these two team-focused and incredibly accomplished leaders to the 38 Studios roster. Between EverQuest, EverQuest II, DC Universe Online and LEGO Universe, both John and Mark have had a decade of experience and success in the MMO space and I'm excited they are now part of the 38 Studios family."

Just a correction. It wasn't sidelined. The team making the MMO has been Green Monster Games/38 Studios from the get go. The single player game was bought as a whole studio- Big Huge Games. The MMO was a ways out, and 38 wanted to get their IP out there, and so a studio with a single player engine and a crap story was bought out, and RA Salvatore's story and McFarlane's artwork was added to the nearly completed action rpg engine. Which is why it came out so fast from announcement to launch, a lot of the work was done.

i really dont see adding people who are veterans because they oversaw 2 trash games (dcuo and lego universe) as a good thing. it definitely doesnt really put them on the same plateau of professionals as mcfarlane, salvatore, and rolston.

Depends on the capacity of what they will be doing. The 'Executive' part scares me a little, the launch of DCUO was a fiasco, it didn't take off until going free to play. And Lego Universe, don't get me started. I love Lego toys, and yet that game left a rancid taste in my mouth. So long as they do nothing but sign paychecks, I suppose they can't do any harm, we can hope.

But I have to agree with the guy/girl above me. Getting hired doesn't make them on par with any of the visionaries at 38, and most definitely isn't something I'd brag about if I were 38 Studios. A lot of vets in the business have real stinkers under their belts, so to speak. But when 2 guys are hired for 'executive positions', and neither has had a successful launch (EQ2 lost to WOW when they launched, almost opposite each other. And then DCUO lost to..well..nobody. Marvel was canned and still DCUO flopped until it went free) I'd almost rather Jen handle all this launch stuff. No idea if she has any software launch, but she has a good track record as an executive, unlike these guys.

Well maybe we'll get lucky, and they'll be put in charge of a mobile app to check your mail or something. We can hope at least.

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