Brenda Brathwaite, creative director of Ravenwood Fair developer LOLapps, has announced that she'll be joining John Romero at his new company Loot Drop as COO, game designer and co-founder.
Romero founded Loot Drop with fellow id co-founder Tom Hall at the beginning of 2011, spurred on by the success of the social movement and the desire for a new challenge.
Until fairly recently, Romero was working at Gazillion, where he worked with LOLapp's Brathwaite to co-design the successful Ravenwood Fair and its forthcoming expansion, Ravenwood Mine. They're currently both still working on that title for LOLapps in a consultancy medium, but are concentrating on Loot Drop's first release, an as yet unnamed game for RockYou.
Brathwaite, Romero and the other Loot Drop executives Robert Sirotek and Tom Hall have a long history of working together and Brathwaite sees Loot Drop as a chance to return to the days of small-team development and passion.
"There's this whole slew of us just entering the social space... this just seemed like such a crazy, exciting time," she told Gamasutra. "The perfect opportunity to start a company with friends and with people we've known for years."
Brathwaite's 30-year career has given her plenty of challenges and experience of working on large-budget, AAA titles, but she said she would relish the chance to try and crack social gaming, too.
"Instead of thinking of Facebook as this amorphous 'social game thing', I think of Facebook as a platform," Brathwaite said. "On which I can have a huge variety of games and a huge variety of experience."
"The weird thing that happens when people say there's this massive 'brain drain' into these social games - nobody would say there's a massive 'brain drain into first-person shooters' nor would anybody claim that all PC games are first-person shooters."
She also believes that there is a great deal more creative fertility as yet untapped on Facebook than people will give credit for, pointing out that the platform is very much in its infancy, with plenty of time, space and audience to expand into more traditional areas of gaming.
"500 million installed players... represents a huge market," Brathwaite said. "And it is dangerous to determine the type of games that people are making by the platform they choose to work on."