Elite: Dangerous director and founder of Frontier Developments David Braben has stepped down because the company’s CEO after holding the role for 28 years.
As reported by GI.biz, Braben will stay because the studio president and founder but will undoubtedly be replaced in the CEO position by chief creative officer Jonny Watts. He’ll still be an extremely influential figure at the developer, however, as Frontier said Braben continues to be an “executive director” and can “retain his leadership and vision for Frontier’s strategic direction”.
“Frontier is essential if you ask me and I’m delighted in order to spread my CEO responsibilities to the exceptionally talented Jonny Watts, who I understand will do a good job,” Braben said.
“He’s got the perfect mix of creative leadership and gaming vision to create on the wonderful momentum available. I’m getting excited about my new role at Frontier, which change enables me to spotlight our longer-term strategic opportunities.”
Watts was credited as an integral figure in the business’s recent successes including unaudited record revenue of 111 million in FY 2022. He’s been at the business for a substantial period of time, originally starting in 1998 as a software developer before rising through the ranks and finally becoming CCO in 2012.
“I’m excited to intensify and lead Frontier in to the next chapter of our growth,” Watts said. “We’ve an incredible team and a fantastic culture of high-quality creativity and inclusivity. Im looking towards dealing with David and the wider Board to take us to still greater success.”
Braben became a British game developer star back 1984 when he co-designed the initial Elite with Ian Bell. In 1994 he create Frontier Developments, and the studio’s first game was Frontier: First Encounters, a primary sequel to Frontier: Elite 2. Braben would then go back to the series in 2014 for the ongoing Elite: Dangerous. But Braben’s tenure as CEO at Frontier has produced a lot more than just the Elite series; the studio can be popular for theme park simulation games including RollerCoaster Tycoon, Zoo Tycoon, Jurassic World Evolution, Planet Coaster, and much more.
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