Every week, mobilegamer.biz brings you the latest on who’s moving where. But first, a word from sponsor Games Jobs Direct:
PlayStation: Nicola Sebastiani has moved on from his role as VP and head of mobile at PlayStation Studios to “pursue a new, undisclosed opportunity”, we can confirm.
Sebastiani was responsible for building PlayStation’s mobile team when the new division was set up in July 2021, and was a key figure in Sony’s acquisition of Savage Game Studios, which is currently at work on “a new unannounced AAA mobile live service action game.”
Sebastiani moved to PlayStation in 2021 after nearly eight years at Apple, where he led the business management team before becoming Apple Arcade’s head of content. Prior to his time at Apple, Sebastiani worked in product management at Ubisoft.
UPDATE: According to their LinkedIn profiles, Kris Davies and Olivier Courtemarche have both stepped up to become co-heads of mobile at PlayStation Studios.
As we’ve reported previously, Davis joined PlayStation as senior director and head of mobile business development in April 2022, bringing with him many years of experience working across business development, M&A, licensing and strategic partnerships at Kabam. Davis has also previously worked in bizdev roles at Beeline Interactive and Capcom.
Courtemarche was appointed senior director and head of mobile product at PlayStation Studios at the same time as Davies, in April 2022. He moved over from a product management role at Meta, and has previously worked in product management at EA, Disney and Zynga.
Kiloo Games: The Danish codeveloper of Subway Surfers is closing its doors in the next month, with around 80 staff believed to be affected, according to a multitude of posts from former staff on LinkedIn.
“An era has come to an end,” said Kiloo CEO Kristian Nordahl. “Being a part of Kiloo has been an incredible ride that has given me so many fantastic days – except for one. Wednesday was truly the saddest day in the history of Kiloo as everyone is now facing termination. Having known Kiloo from its very infancy – at a time where mobile games wasn’t a real thing, it was black and white screens on J2ME handsets – to joining Kiloo and being part of it for almost a decade, makes it very strange and extremely sad having to say goodbye to a lot of amazing, enthusiastic and highly skilled colleagues.”
Kiloo’s involvement in Subway Surfers ended in 2020, when Sybo took over full development and publishing responsibilities for the title. Kiloo released a similar runner, MetroLand, two years ago, and had several other titles on the app stores.
Nifty Games: The maker of NFL Clash and NBA Clash is to close, CEO Jon Middleton has confirmed on LinkedIn. The US firm was formed in 2018, raised $38m in funding back in 2021, and at one point it had recruited former Sega, Xbox and EA exec Peter Moore. The company’s LinkedIn profile suggests it had 16 staff when the closure was confirmed.
Middleton explained: “Nifty Games will be shutting down. We take a lot of pride that Nifty Games efforts achieved the products we set out to deliver…world class free-to-play games with two of the most iconic sports brands in the world. However, NFL Clash and NBA Clash, while widely well reviewed, couldn’t deliver the commercial results we needed as an independent developer and publisher. There’s been significant changes in the mobile market that had an adverse effect, and ultimately forced us to downsize over the past year, sunset our games and now move towards closure of the company.”
Supercell: Former business and operations lead Stijn Tops has been promoted to head of live ops and monetisation. Tops has been at Supercell almost three years, and joined from Google where he was most recently UK industry manager for gaming and apps.
Adjoe: Applovin’s Maria Golcz has joined Adjoe as director of demand account management. She worked at Applovin for seven years, most recently as senior director for non-gaming global growth. She has also previously worked as operations VP at Boombit and head of business solutions at Voodoo.
Playdigious: The premium game specialist has appointed Don’t Nod’s Abrial da Costa as its new CEO. He’ll be taking on the role from July 3, and will replace outgoing CEO Xavier Liard. CTO and co-founder Romain Tisserand also has a new role as head of Playdigious’ new R&D department.
Cosmic Lounge: The Helsinki startup continues to hire this week with new HR manager Outi Jalkanen. She has previously worked in HR for several other studios including Roleverse, Return Entertainment and Reforged Studios.
Adinmo: Manuela Pinho de Magalhaes has joined the in-game ad specialist as head of sales and partnerships in Latin America. She moves from her role at programmatic ads firm Freestar as bizdev director.