Nick Earl, a former Electronic Arts executive who joined mobile gaming company Kabam in November, announced today he is leaving his job as president of worldwide studios.
Earl said in a blog post that he was leaving “with mixed feelings” and that he wants to do something else. Meanwhile, chief executive Kevin Chou announced the promotions of two other studio executives to run game development.
Earl said his ambitious goals were to publish triple-A quality mobile games, solidify partnerships with Hollywood entertainment companies, and build the industry’s best leadership team. It sounds a little premature of Earl to say so, but he said in his post that Kabam has achieved these goals in less than one year and would continue to excel on them.
He noted that during the year, Kabam launched four triple-A games: Marvel Contest of Champions, Fast & Furious: Legacy, Spirit Lords, and Star Wars: Uprising, which released earlier this week. He also noted he helped shape Kabam’s “fewer, bigger, bolder” strategy that focuses on doubling down with Hollywood and creating ambitious mobile games.
“Almost a year later, it’s clearly ‘job well done,’ and Kabam is now a very different company. I fully support this direction and the focus on creating mobile games like Marvel Contest of Champions and Star Wars: Uprising. Given this new direction and considering the experienced, talented leadership at the Group GM level, I have decided that Kabam is not the right place for me at this point in my career,” Earl said. “So, today is my last day with the company. I remain very excited about Kabam’s future and I believe the Studio leadership is in great hands moving forward.”
Chou also said in his post that he had mixed feelings about the changes. He applauded Earl’s performance in reframing the organization around blockbuster games. The new management structure is flatter, he said.
Mike Verdu is now president of Kabam Studios and chief creative officer in charge of the publisher’s game design and game quality. Verdu, former chief creative officer at Zynga, joined Kabam in January 2015 through the acquisition of mobile gaming startup TapZen. Verdu is a veteran of PC and console franchises such as Command & Conquer and The Lord of the Rings. At Zynga, he helped launch games such as FrontierVille, CastleVille, and Empires & Allies.
Meanwhile, Aaron Loeb is now president of Kabam Studios and live services in charge of service quality. Loeb is also a former vice president at EA, where he oversaw development of games such as The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Monopoly Slots.
“I have said it before and will repeat it: Kabam has the best leadership team in the mobile gaming business,” Chou said. “Aaron Loeb and Mike Verdu are bona fide industry luminaries with proven leadership experience. We have more than 800 employees around the world with more than 1,000 years of experience developing triple-A quality games. This team has delivered on tremendous milestones over the past year, as Nick wrote in his post:”