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GDC: Emergent Reveals New CEO, Growth Driven By Social MMOs

Emergent is under the stewardship of a new CEO -- the engine maker says Scott Johnson took on the role late in 2009, leading the company's growth as it aims for devs in the free-to-play MMO space.
Engine tech company Emergent is under the stewardship of a new CEO -- the company says Scott Johnson took on the role late in 2009. Johnson is former co-founder and CEO of mobile game developer Mobility Entertainment, which was acquired by Foundation 9. Prior to that, he spent seven years with Vivend in various managing franchises like Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the Dragon. Emergent says it has Johnson's leadership to thank for its strong close to 2009, which saw a 35 percent year over year increase in revenues and a 58 percent profitability boost. The company saw particularly strong growth in North America, Japan and China, where it says the success of its Gamebryo Lightspeed development platform drove results. Overall, Emergent boasts 120 licensing deals sealed throughout the year 2009, and says more than 50 games built on its technology are coming from Asia -- most of them free-to-play and social MMOs. Emergent is apparently focusing more squarely on that high-growth space. According to CEO Johnson, the company's tech is ideal for developing within the category. "Over the past 12 months the video game industry has seen a dramatic shift in the way it conducts business. The era of $15 million plus titles is in our rear-view mirror and changing focus to the new way business is done will be challenging for our competition," Johnson says.

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