James Cox, Rob Hendry and Chris Tilston join the studio behind smash hit ‘Avakin Life’
Vast experience will help drive Lockwood’s ambition to be UK’s leading metaverse developer
Leading British metaverse games developer and publisher Lockwood Publishing has added significant firepower to its development team with the addition of three key strategic hires. James Cox (VP of Engineering), Rob Hendry (VP of Production), and Chris Tilston (Studio Design Director) will help spearhead Lockwood’s further efforts to cement Avakin Life as one of the world’s foremost metaverse and web3 experiences.
Avakin Life, a proto-metaverse launched on mobile 2013, boasts 200million user accounts and 6million monthly active users. Industry veteran James joins Lockwood from NaturalMotion, and he has previously worked in senior roles at Konami and at PlayStation where he was Head of Development for PlayStation Home for almost a decade. James will head up client, server, systems and tools development for Avakin Life and future projects. He will also oversee cyber security, automated testing, QA, live operations for Avakin Life feature development, and drive R&D initiatives for new metaverse products.
Rob was Executive Producer of storied fantasy-MMO Old School RuneScape before joining Lockwood. He boasts more than 25 years in the games industry with prior roles at NaturalMotion, Marmalade and Warthog Studios. Rob will be working closely with the executive team and Lockwood’s passionate team of developers to craft and deliver the strategies and organisation to meet ambitious goals for shaping the Avakin Life metaverse and future product development.
Rounding off the big-hitting triumvirate of hires, Chris started at Rare almost 30 years ago and has occupied senior design roles at Konami and at EA’s fabled DICE studio, and was most recently the Head of Design at Smilegate Barcelona. Chris will be primarily focused on improving both monetisation and fun in Avakin Life, and building an in-house design team.
Halli Bjornsson, Lockwood Publishing CEO, said: “Being able to attract such amazing talent to Lockwood is a testament to our ambition in an industry that’s only really now catching on to the immense possibilities that games such as Avakin Life have in the metaverse. James, Rob and Chris bring to Lockwood a combined 80 years’ experience in the games industry. That kind of talent is invaluable to our company’s maturation and transition plans to be market leaders in the web3 space. We’re confident that this is just the start of a massive year for Avakin Life and for Lockwood, both of which are evolving at pace.”