Ready at Dawn has hired a new CEO as the company seeks to publish its own games. Paul Sams, the longtime COO of Blizzard Entertainment, has taken over as CEO and will lead the team from the brand new Austin, Texas office.
Current CEO and co-founder Ru Weerasuriya will become the chief creative officer, allowing him to focus on creating games at the company’s Irvine location. The Austin location will be focused solely on the business side of game development.
“It is never easy finding someone to take over the reins of a company after this many years, but I cannot think of anyone better suited to guide the team as we look to the future. He is one of the most accomplished, respected and experienced leaders in our industry” said Ru Weerasuriya in a statement. “With Paul’s arrival, our studio in Irvine will turn its attention solely to creative and game development, while Austin will become the focus of our business endeavors. Paul’s expertise and industry knowledge positions us well to reach our company goals, including securing a strategic partner which will allow us to retain ownership of the transmedia IPs that we create.”
“Ready at Dawn is one of the best pure game developers in the industry. After 12 years, they remain an independent developer true to their craft of creating gameplay in unique and immersive worlds filled with engaging characters and experiences,” said Sams. “Much like when I joined Blizzard, my role is to create an environment in which our talented team can focus on making games without the business constraints and limitations that can hamper the creative process.”
This revelation is a huge change for Ready at Dawn. Every game developed by the studio, save for the Wii version of Okami, has been in partnership with Sony. The studio’s latest game, The Order: 1886, launched earlier this year to mixed reviews, and was expected to become a franchise. With Ready at Dawn seeking to self-publish, it is unknown if they’ll team up with Sony to develop a sequel, or whether Sony will hire another developer to continue the franchise.