Skip to main content

Phoenix Labs CEO and COO step down

Both Jesse Houston and Jeanne-Marie Owens will serve as advisors for Fae Farm studio

Phoenix Labs CEO and co-founder Jesse Houston and COO Jeanne-Marie Owens are stepping down from their roles, has learned.

Houston will remain an active member of the Vancouver studio's board of directors, and will now take on an advisory role as well.

Owens will also take on the role of advisor at the end of 2023, with VP of product development Ian Johnson replacing her as COO.

"After nearly a decade, I feel like I can step back from the day-to-day operations at Phoenix Labs," said Houston. "The future has never looked brighter – we've got an amazing pipeline of games in development and our incredible Fae Farm [just launched] for the Nintendo Switch and PC.

"I couldn't be prouder of everything that the team has achieved together." has also learned Houston's fellow co-founders Sean Bender and Robin Mayne departed the company earlier this year.

A spokesperson for Phoenix Labs told us that both cited personal reasons for their decision to leave.

Earlier this year, Phoenix Labs' management secured backing to buy the studio back from its parent company Garena, which acquired the Dauntless developer in 2020.

The company also expanded in 2020 with new offices in Montreal and Los Angeles. However, back in May, Phoenix Labs announced a round of layoffs.

Its second release, Fae Farm, launched on Friday and appears to be off to a good start, debuting in the Top Ten in the UK boxed charts.

Sign up for the GI Daily here to get the biggest news straight to your inbox

Read this next

James Batchelor avatar
James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games