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Ex-Cryptic boss joins Gazillion as CEO

By Alec Meer

Fri 11 Mar 2011 3:11pm GMT / 10:11am EST / 7:11am PST

Needham joins rival MMO outfit days after leaving Atari firm

Former Cryptic Studios CEO John Needham has been announced as the new CEO of rival MMO developer Gazillion Entertainment.

Needham's departure from the Atari-owned Champions and Star Trek Online studio was revealed just two days ago, with CCO Jack Emmert poised to fill his shoes.

He now joins Californian outfit Gazillion, which focuses on new business models such as free-to-play games. Among the forthcoming games on its plate is kids' MMO Marvel Superhero Squad Online.

Needham told VentureBeat that free to play "is where the secret sauce is for the industry."

Gazillion comprises 200 employees across three studios, and for a time counted notorious ex-iD man John Romero among its staff.

Also part of the firm is Lego Universe developer NetDevil, which recently saw dramatic staff losses and transfers when Lego assumed direct control of the game.

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