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Former Cryptic CEO John Needham Now Heading Gazillion

Former Cryptic CEO John Needham Now Heading Gazillion

March 11, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

March 11, 2011 | By Eric Caoili
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After announcing his departure as CEO from Atari's Cryptic Studios earlier this week, John Needham has taken the chief executive position at another online gaming firm Gazillion Entertainment.

Needham left Cryptic on amicable terms after leading the San Jose-based developer for almost three years, helping launch titles like Champions Online and Star Trek Online. He was replaced by the company's co-founder and chief operating officer Jack Emmert.

Prior to Cryptic, Needham was senior vice president at Sony Online Entertainment's Business Development and Operations division for seven years, where he oversaw the firm's "strategic initiatives, international operations, customer service and quality assurance."

Rob Hutter, who served as CEO for Gazillion previous to Needham, will remain at the San Mateo-headquartered company and take on the position of chairman.

Gazillion and its four development studios -- NetDevil, The Amazing Society, Secret Identity, and Slipgate Ironworks -- have a number of online titles in production, including games that take advantage of a 10-year Marvel licensing deal like Super Hero Squad Online.

"I'm extremely excited to be a part of Gazillion," says Needham. "Like the team here, I believe that in the near future, rich console-quality games will be delivered through the browser."

He adds, "With great creative talent like [president and COO] David Brevik and massive brands like Marvel, we're going to create browser-centric, free-to-play games that set a new standard for quality and deliver a deep, compelling experience."


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