Representatives of French-headquartered publisher and developer Infogrames have announced that it has appointed a new management team for noted kids game developer Humongous, Inc. (formerly Humongous Entertainment), creator of the Backyard Sports
franchise and the Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish, Pajama Sam
, and SPY Fox
childrens' game titles.
Humongous, which was originally co-founded by Monkey Island
creator Ron Gilbert alongside the now-defunct Cavedog, had long been a part of Infogrames subsidiary Atari's portfolio. However, it was sold to Infogrames
in late August for approximately $10.3 million, helping to give a cash boost to Atari, which still retains distribution rights for Humongous titles.
This new arrangement will see operations and finance for Humongous based at Atari's offices in New York, but a small group of key group of senior designers and development staff still based in Bothell, Washington, the original site of firm. Atari previously laid off the majority of the Humongous development team in late June, according to online reports, but the remaining "core group" will "manage external development of all [Humongous] games, starting with those under the Backyard Sports
umbrella", according to an official Atari spokesperson. However, the firm will also develop a business strategy for reviving the Humongous Characters, including Putt-Putt, Freddi Fish
and Pajama Sam
, for whom games have not recently been produced.
In relation to this change, Humongous has announced the hiring of Alyssa Padia and Lauren Schechtman as co-presidents. Padia was formerly Senior Vice President of Corporate Evolution at Atari/Infogrames, and previously served on the senior management team at Sony Computer Entertainment Europe launching PlayStation across Europe, and Schectman was most recently a partner at Amplitude Consulting, but also formerly headed the marketing team for Humongous Entertainment.