Representatives from Russian developer Nival Interactive (Heroes of Might and Magic V, Hammer & Sickle
) have announced the appointment of Joss Ellis as Nival’s head of studios. Ellis will be based at Nival’s primary studio in Moscow, Russia and his main responsibilities will include overseeing the Russian studios, helping the company’s developers and artists understand the worldwide games market more thoroughly, bridging communications between the U.S. and Russia, and inspiring the teams’ transition to next-generation console development.
Prior to joining Nival Interactive, Ellis was the COO and development director at Argonaut Games from 2001 until 2005. While at Argonaut, Ellis oversaw game development, sales, contract negotiation, day-to-day management and investor relations. Nival notes that Ellis' presence will emphasize the company’s strategy to “combine proven Western creative and management resources with exceptional development talent in lower cost regions of the world.”
Ellis has also worked at Virgin Interactive Entertainment as vice president of international development. In tandem with his senior vice president of publishing, Ellis managed all software development outside of North America, and oversaw contract negotiation and relationships with third-party publishers, such as Capcom. Ellis also help commission development to Eastern Europe and outsourced work to the Far East during his five-year term.
Before Virgin, Ellis was the first European employee at Electronic Arts, where he spent nine years in a variety of capacities, from producer to director of European development. As a member of EA’s European board of directors, Ellis was directly involved in the planning and execution of EA Europe's growth strategies. He was heavily involved in the company's acquisition and production of the FIFA International Soccer
franchise. He also worked on the localization of certain U.S. titles to European platforms.
“There’s no one more qualified than Joss to manage large teams in the production of high-quality video games – particularly across the wide range of game platforms that make up the modern landscape of gaming,” said Kevin Bachus, CEO of Nival Interactive. “As the first European employee of Electronic Arts, Joss gained invaluable experience in growing a company to market leadership and I look forward to watching him apply those lessons as Nival continues on its path to becoming a top worldwide game developer and outsourcing resource.”