Representatives from Russian developer Nival Interactive have announced that the company is to establish its global headquarters in Los Angeles, California and that Kevin Bachus is to join its executive management team as CEO.
Nival’s new leadership and Californian HQ is intended to broaden the company’s focus beyond the PC market, where it is best known for developing titles such as Heroes of Might & Magic V
, Silent Storm
and Rage of Mages
. The company now claims an interest in developing console, video and mobile games and providing outsourced asset production.
With asset production in particular, the company plans to offer significantly lower production costs by using cheaper development talent in “lower cost regions of the world”. As such lead designers, art directors and programmers will be based in Los Angeles, with the company’s 300 overseas developers in five development studios around the world.
"During its ten year history Nival Interactive has already established itself as a highly praised developer of successful PC games. By marrying Western creative, production and management capabilities with Eastern execution skills and expertise, we will bring products to our partners that are high in quality and global commercial appeal, but low in risk," said Bachus.
Bachus is best known as one of the four co-creators of the Xbox, when he was group product manager for Microsoft’s DirectX technologies. More recently he worked at controversial hardware manufacturer Infinium Labs, serving first as the company’s president and COO and then succeeded former CEO Timothy Roberts in August 2005. However he subsequently left the company within three months
in order to “pursue other opportunities”.
The rest of the LA management team will include well known Russian industry figure Sergey Orlovskiy, who founded Nival in 1996, and will remain as company president. William Petro will take on the role of vice president of production after occupying a similar role at Sega, as well as stints at Atari, Konami and Westwood Studios. Anthony Jacobson will become vice president of marketing and business development, after previously working at Creative Planet and William Morris Agency.
As well as establishing itself in the console market, the company also aims to grow its wireless division, led by Doug Dyer, who has previously worked for Warner Bros.’s mobile entertainment business and as general manager at THQ Wireless.