Australian-based MMO distributor and middleware developer BigWorld has announced that in addition to expanding its presence in both the Japanese and South Korean markets, it has appointed former Online Game Services Inc. (OGSi) founder and CEO James Hursthouse as its director of business development. The company has also brought in Yoshikazu Furuhata as its new account executive.
With the establishment of a direct presence in Japan and Korea, BigWorld hope to emphasize the importance it places on working directly with local developers, publishers, and agents to understand and support those markets.
The company recently upgraded
its MMO technology suite, which includes BigWorld Server Software, Content Creation Pipeline, 3D Client Engine Package, and Live Management Tools & Instrumentation, to version 1.9. The update included various optimizations, improvements, and new features, such as an advanced terrain engine.
Previous to BigWorld, Hursthouse set up OGSi in 2004, which served as an infrastructure provider to the online game industry, offering solutions for hosting, billing, customer support, and market development consultancy. In January 2007 he sold OGSi to hosting services provider GNi and worked there as global director for games and entertainment services at GNi. James is currently the advisory board chairman for the ION Game Conference and was previously chairman of the IGDA’s Online Games SIG.
Yoshikazu Furuhata has experience in both the online game business and dedicated server hosting business in Japan, having developed an extensive network of contacts among online game related companies, both in Japan and Korea.
Said business development VP Gavin Longhurst: "2008 has been a fantastic year for BigWorld. Working with an ever increasing number of licensees around the world has helped cement our position as the middleware engine of choice for the development and operation of MMOGs. One of our major titles, NetEase’s (NTES) Tian Xia 2
, recently launched in China, fully supported by our local office.”