Team17, the developer turned publisher best known for their own IP Worms, and their publishing of games such as, Yooka-Laylee, The Escapists, Overcooked, LIGHT, and more, have bolstered their team with aim on expanding their publishing reach over the Atlantic to North America.
In an effort to increase their international profile Team17 have made a move towards expanding into the Northern American territory with recent hires. This follows a major investment they received last year to the sum of £16.5m.
Justin Berenbaum will lead Team17’s US operations as the head of publishing and business development for Asia and the Americas. A fitting role as Berenbaum was formerly VP of business development and strategic relations at 505 Games.
Meanwhile, for the UK, they have also hired the following,
- Matt Benson – Business Development Manager. His experience lie with marketing with 505 Games and Ubisoft.
- Ste Stanley – Marketing and Sales Co-ordinator, previously working as an Account Manager at Mdee and also a New Account Manager at Games Workshop.
- Ian Pickles – Senior Producer on External Projects, and has experience from his time at Sony XDev.
- Ellie Spanovic – Community Manager has experience from working at Oddworld Inhabitants
- Davide Fabrizzi – Concept Artist, will be joining Team17’s development team, previously working at Rare.
- Niklas Hansson – Also joining the development team as a lead programmer, and previously from Tarsier Studios, he also received special thanks for helping out with Worms W.M.D.
- Octavia Vasilescu – Lead QA, with an extensive, decade long history in QA at EA.
Team17 are hoping to increase their US profile as, Debbie Bestwick has mentioned to Gamesindustry.biz,
“There is a massively diverse talent pool in the States. We are well known amongst developers in the UK and Europe, but a lot of the developers in North America know us as Team17: the guys who created Worms.
Last year the publisher signed Deadwood: The Forgotten Curse and have plans to add to that. They also have signed another big game, but the details will be released over the coming weeks. They found success with titles such as, The Escapists, Overcooked, and Yooka-Laylee, While it’s unclear how many games the firm are looking to sign from US soil, Bestwick’s team do have five announced projects going on.
“You know of five games we are planning to release, but I know there is more, I’ve just signed a couple of games, and I’m talking big titles as well. So if we need people, we will find them. But it is about finding the right quality of people. That’s super important. We are doing things in a very different way and it really is important that the people who come to work with us don’t see this as just a job. It is a passion and a commitment to help build these studios. We all as a team, collectively, want to be able to look at each other and say: ‘We made a difference'” – Debbie Bestwick
It’s certainly good to see somebody stepping up into the UK publishing scene, there’s been a void there since Eidos were sold to Square Enix and Codemasters closed their publishing wing to focus on their own racing titles.
“UK games publishing hasn’t died out, it has just changed. There is this new breed of publisher in the UK that is doing very well, which includes ourselves. But there are also a lot of developers out there that have self-published their last three or four titles. That is what life is like now.” – Debbie Bestwick