‘GTA’ producer’s new studio hires 2K, Sony and NCSoft veterans

Studio Build A Rocket Boy is developing multiplayer game ‘Everywhere’

Build A Rocket Boy, the studio founded by former Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies, has hired a number of high profile industry veterans.

The new hires are former Codemasters and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe vice president Mick Hocking, former 2K VP of publishing Murray Pannell and former SVP of publishing at NCSoft Randall Price (via VGC).

Hocking is now chief development officer, with Pannell taking up SVP of global marketing and Price now chief publishing officer.

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Regarding the new hires, Benzies said: “Since 2016, Build A Rocket Boy’s team has been quietly growing and today we’re delighted to publicly welcome Mick, Murray and Randall to the studio.

“Each of them brings a huge amount of experience, knowledge and passion to Build A Rocket Boy as we continue development on Everywhere, and we’re looking forward to having more to announce from the team later in 2022” (via GamesIndustry.biz).

Rockstar Games
GTA V. Credit: Rockstar Games

Build A Rocket Boy appears to be stacking up its development talent for its first project, Everywhere, which is set to be a “real-life Ready Player One” multiplayer title. The Triple-A open-world multiplayer game will also feature “user generated content through a virtual sandbox where players can create their own worlds.”

It also looks like Everywhere will have some form of in-game monetisation, as on job listing stated that it needed someone who can “balance in-game economy with consideration to player acquisition, engagement and retention.”

“In the near future, technology has brought humanity to the precipice of a world shifting change,” reads the description of Everywhere on the studio’s website.

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“There are those who want to use this technology to advantage only themselves, and those who want to use it to help all humankind. Will we look to the stars? Or stare only at our feet? Will we be inspired? Or live in fear?”

In other news, Pokémon and Squishmallows have announced a new collaboration that sees fan-favourite Pokémon turned into plush toys. Currently, there’s both Pikachu and Gengar confirmed for wave one, with more iconic Pokémon presumably on the way.

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