Quite a few things have been happening in the video game industry behind the scenes in the past few days, resulting in some serious personnel movement. From promotions to resignations and even some tax issues.
Let’s begin with someone everyone should be familiar with.
Moving up a (Metal) Gear
The man who gave the world Snatcher and the Metal Gear Solid games, Hideo Kojima, has been promoted to Vice President of Konami Digital Entertainment. An industry veteran of 25 years, Kojima-san’s promotion is among several others occurring at the company.
Leaving the Free World
As one man ascends in his company, another man is leaving his. Ben Cousins, who worked hard to bring Battlefield Play4Free to PC audiences everywhere, announced via Twitter (@benjamincousins) that he will be stepping down from his position at EA to pursue other ventures. Battlefield Play4Free is essentially a mixture between Battlefield: Bad Company and Battlefield 2 in a premium content/free-to-play model, with maps and vehicles all upgraded by DICE.
Another resignation in the industry is found with Scott Amos, formerly of Visceral Games (Dead Space). Amos has opted to take his talents over to Crystal Dynamics, who are currently working on the Tomb Raider reboot. Amos has undertaken developing a new IP for the studio – no word yet on what that might be, though.
Tax time is coming up all too soon (hope yours are done) and Trip Hawkins, the founder of one of video games’ largest companies, Electronic Arts, has found himself owing the Federal government $20 million. Hawkins, currently the CEO of Digital Chocolate, had tried to file for bankruptcy to free himself of the massive taxes accrued, but unfortunately California Judge Jeffrey S. White put the kibosh on that maneuver. Hawkins still finds himself in the debt and will still need to pay it, otherwise he will find himself hanging out with Wesley Snipes.
Escape to Farmville
Lastly, Kenji Matsubara finds himself at Zynga Japan now, after leaving Tecmo-Koei last year. Matsubara-san will be Zynga Japan’s new CEO, starting May 9. How this will end up playing out business wise for Zynga remains to be seen. However, there are a lot of people in Japan who have cell phones and mobile gaming represents a massive portion of the market in the country. Time will tell after Matsubara-san takes his seat officially.
As much as regular gaming news is important, knowing what’s going on with the people behind the scenes is just as important. After all, they’re the ones largely responsible for bringing the products that we so richly love to us. If something happened to them, wouldn’t you want to know?