Former Development Director of The Sims franchise, Zynga and Splash Damage veterans join Jagex as it builds out its development capabilities for its existing and future titles
Left to right: James Burns, Melissa Bachman-Wood and Malachy O'Neill
Thursday 4th July 2019 – Jagex today announced key senior hires within its development teams to drive forward the company’s growth plans to continue the stellar performance of the RuneScape franchise, build new game experiences and support its third-party games publishing initiative.
With Jagex aiming to grow its workforce by 25% in 2019, Melissa Bachman-Wood joins as Vice-President of Studio, a games industry veteran holding more than 20 years’ experience. Melissa started her career at Maxis, and continued with Electronic Arts, managing cross-functional teams of The Sims franchise. Today, Melissa is a leader in game development and live services, and has held senior studio head roles at Backbone Entertainment, KIXEYE, and Jam City.
In addition, James Burns has joined Jagex as Technical Director working on the company’s as-yet unannounced online action role-playing game. Burns holds over 18 years in the games industry specialising in online engineering with stints at PlayStation, Activision and Splash Damage. At Jagex, Burns will be the driving force behind the game’s development, ensuring the project is at the frontline of technical innovation.
Malachy O’Neill has been appointed as Director of Quality Assurance. Formerly of Nintendo Europe, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Natural Motion and Zynga, O’Neill will head Jagex’s experienced team to deliver a range of high-quality QA services.
Nick Beliaeff, SVP of Game Development, Jagex, said: “With the significant talent we’re able to continuously attract to Jagex, it's very clear that big things lie ahead for the studio. These great new additions to the team add industry leading experience and knowledge, which fuel our goals to build and expand RuneScape and Old School RuneScape for players on both PC and mobile, extend the franchise to new platforms and new game experiences, and bring new living games into the Jagex portfolio.”
Melissa Bachman-Wood, VP of Studio, said: “I’m thrilled to join the Jagex team and delighted for the chance to enable our teams to deliver even more great games to our players. I’m eager to help lead Studio strategy and execution to enable Jagex to excel in its ambition to be the home of living games, building out our world-class studio teams and processes.”
Jagex has also welcomed back Mark Faulkner as its new Director of Publishing Platform, while Ben Albon is promoted to IT Director from his previous role as Lead Operations Engineer. To find out more about further career opportunities at Jagex, visit the studios careers portal, www.jagex.com/careers.
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A leader in creating deep and engaging experiences on PC and mobile, Jagex was founded in 2001 and is today one of the UK’s biggest and most respected video game developers and publishers. Famed for its flagship MMOs RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, Jagex has welcomed more than 260million player accounts to its world and created a $1bn lifetime franchise revenue. Today the RuneScape franchise exists beyond running games in live operations; our titles are living games that connect and inspire millions of players, with content and experiences both inside and outside of inexhaustible game worlds. Both RuneScape and Old School RuneScape, on PC and mobile, offer ever-evolving, highly-active worlds and our community-focussed development ethos empowers players to have a real say in how each game is shaped. Jagex is expanding and extending its portfolio with fresh franchise titles, new IP and, in 2018 launched Jagex Partners, delivering third-party publishing and operational services exclusively for the living games of the future. Jagex employs more than 360 people at its Cambridge headquarters and is on the hunt for talented people to work across the business to help the company to achieve yet another year of record growth and player satisfaction. For more information visit, www.jagex.com.