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Free Realms Creative Director Joins Romero's Loot Drop

Laralyn McWilliams, previously creative director on Sony Online Entertainment's free-to-play MMO Free Realms, is joining id co-founder John Romero's new social game studio, Loot Drop.
Laralyn McWilliams, previously creative director on Sony Online Entertainment's free-to-play MMO Free Realms, is joining id co-founder John Romero's new social game studio, Loot Drop. McWilliams, who has been in the games industry for 15 years, will be joining Loot Drop as creative director at the company's San Mateo, CA studio. She said that the new position with Loot Drop will allow her to "continue making great, innovative games for non-traditional audiences." Free Realms is SOE's first attempt at a free-to-play, microtransactions-based game. It released on PC in April 2009, and is slated for a PlayStation 3 launch later this month. McWilliams was most recently a senior producer at SOE, and prior to Sony was lead game designer on Pandemic's Full Spectrum Warrior. Along with Romero, Loot Drop is headed up by industry veterans including Robert Sirotek, Tom Hall and Brenda Brathwaite. The company also has a studio in Austin, TX. "It's her background that's most appealing to us," COO Brathwaite said of McWilliams. "She's designed great games for diverse audiences and really gets the Facebook space. Laralyn is also a perfect fit for our existing team of veteran game designers." Loot Drop's first game will be published by social gaming company RockYou. Prior to revealing Loot Drop, Romero had worked with social game publisher Lolapps on Ravenwood Fair, the "number one non-Zynga game on Facebook," according to a statement from Loot Drop. The game has a reported 11.5 million monthly active players.

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