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Ex-Zynga, Sony Online boss heads to Amalur house 38 Studios

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning house 38 Studios today announced two high-profile hires, as a means of expanding its influence in the MMO gaming space.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning house 38 Studios today announced two high-profile hires, as a means of expanding its influence in the MMO gaming space. Single player RPG Kingdoms of Amalur, released last month and developed by subsidiary Big Huge Games, was the first release from the Rhode Island-headquartered company, and sold more than 330,000 copies in the U.S. in its first few weeks on sale. The next game in the Amalur franchise is set to be an MMO based in the same universe as the original RPG, although the title is as-of-yet unannounced. With these latest hirings, the company hopes to bring in as much MMO experience as possible. John Blakely (pictured), previously general manager at Zynga Austin and VP of development at Sony Online Entertainment, is now serving as 38 Studios' senior VP of development. Blakely has previously overseen development of MMOs such as DC Universe Online and EverQuest II. Mark Hansen originally held a position as senior director of Playwell Studios, where he lead the development on the Lego Universe MMO. He has now taken a position as senior VP of operations and business at 38 Studios. Curt Schilling, founder and chairman of 38 Studios, and former Boston Red Sox pitcher, explained, "I am proud to add these two team-focused and incredibly accomplished leaders to the 38 Studios roster. Both John and Mark have had a decade of experience, and success, in the MMO space and I'm excited they are now part of the 38 Studios family."

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