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Once focused on 2D mobile games, Machine Zone hires a 3D graphics expert

Mobile game developer Machine Zone has hired industry veteran Sim Dietrich as its senior technical director of graphics technologies. His role at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based gamemaker will be to helm the client side of the platform team, helping to speed and scale up game development.

Dietrich formerly worked at OnLive as the manager of the platform, user interface, engineering, and game performance teams. His recruitment means that mobile gaming is headed toward better 3D graphics, and that takes a different kind of talent for companies like Machine Zone (formerly Addmired), which grew up in an age of mobile games with 2D graphics. Dietrich will focus on graphics for upcoming community-based massively multiplayer online mobile games.

“Sim is a legend in the 3D graphics world and will be a tremendous asset to Machine Zone,” said Gabriel Leydon (pictured above), the chief executive officer of Machine Zone. “Adding Sim to our team will help us to evolve our platform and create the most graphically advanced mobile MMO games available.”

Machine Zone has more than a billion registered users of its games, which include Original Gangstaz, iMob 2, and Global War. These are free-to-play titles that generate revenue via virtual goods.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Machine Zone recently announced that it had raised $8 million. Investors include Menlo Ventures, Anthos Capital, and Baseline Ventures.

The company has gone through some big pivots. Addmired debuted as a Y Combinator startup in 2008 with a Hot-or-Not-style social network dating app. But it pivoted to become one of the first free-to-play mobile game companies and now has rebranded itself as a serious developer. Dietrich has nearly 20 years of experience in software engineering, game design, and 3D graphics technologies at companies such as Composite Studios, Intel Corp, and Nvidia. His name is on a number of patents on technologies including low-latency processing, video processing, shading languages, and antialiasing.

“Machine Zone’s technology is charting new waters in the mobile gaming space,” said Dietrich. “I’m thrilled to help drive this technology further with such a talented team.”


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