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Ex-Cryptic boss joins Gazillion as CEO

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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Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.