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Hi5 Buys Big Six To Bolster Social Gaming Plans

Social network hi5 has acquired social games firm Big Six, adding several of the group's executives to its management team and strengthening its plans to expand the site's online gaming presence.
Social network hi5 has acquired social games firm Big Six, adding several of the group's executives to its management team and strengthening its plans to expand the site's online gaming presence. hi5 appointed Big Six co-founder and CEO Kevin Gliner as its new senior vice president of Production, and he is charged with overseeing all product management, site design, and content production at the company. Prior to Big Six, Gliner was CEO and co-founder of Knockabout games, a mobile game developer that worked with companies like Microsoft, Sony, Motorola, and others. Big Six's co-founder and president Monty Kerr joins hi5 as vice president of Commerce and Advertising Platforms. Previously, he was the founder and CEO of casual games developer Red 5 Games and of real-money wagering services provider Glass Eye Entertainment. He also co-founded Knockabout Games with Gliner and worked at other companies like Microprose, Maxis, and Electronic Arts in design and development positions. Chad Hansing, who was also CTO at the Big Six, will serve as director of Commerce Platform Engineering at hi5. He has a long history with Gliner and Kerr, working at Red 5 Games, where he was chief technology officer and co-founder; taking on the CTO role again at Glass Eye Entertainment; and co-founding Knockabout Games with the two. The talent/technology acquisition comes three months after hi5 brought in WildTangent founder and former CEO Alex St. John as its new president and CTO. He also has experience working with Gliner, as the latter was once executive vice president of Product Development at WildTangent, managing a 115-person team and helping build the company's third-party developer program. St. John expressed a need for hi5 to create original, unique games to find success in the social gaming space last November. He also pledged to help transform the social network into a social gaming and entertainment destination, a goal he should find more achievable with the company's Big Six purchase. "This acquisition brings both great technology and great talent into our company," says Alex St. John. "These guys know more than anyone in the online gaming industry about building a highly reliable and scalable payments infrastructure, which we see as crucial to the next stage of social gaming and a key asset to our development partners."

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