New Team Members Bring Wealth of Game Development Experience from Leaders in Mobile, PC, and Console Gaming
PALO ALTO, Calif. — September 25, 2014 — Kiwi, Inc., today announced the addition of veteran games industry talent to its team as part of the company’s mission to build AAA games for mobile platforms. The new additions include Vice President of Creative Eric Todd, Vice President and Executive Producer Jason Woodward, Director of Product Wes Culver, Lead Gameplay Engineer Pratik Patel and Art Director Shawn Peters. Combined, these new team members bring decades of game industry talent from marquee developers and publishers including EA, Disney Interactive/Playdom, GREE, and Zynga. The new hires follow on the heels of Kiwi closing a $15 million Series B round which is being used to develop next-gen, cross-platform, AAA titles for mobile devices.
“Eric, Jason, Wes, Pratik and Shawn have been a driving force behind some of the most successful AAA games in PC, console and mobile, and that wealth of exposure brings a whole new level of insight into how we’re building – and should be building – great mobile games,” said Omar Siddiqui, CEO of Kiwi, Inc. “They will have an enormously positive impact on Kiwi’s business and the future of what it means to be AAA on mobile platforms as we combine the best of free-to-play systems design with the polish and quality of console level game development.”
Kiwi has already achieved great success in the mobile market with their approach to narrative-driven and character-rich games, as demonstrated by their status as one of only a handful of developers with multiple Top 100 Grossing games on the Google Play store. The company is currently leveraging the lessons of their early hit titles into defining and developing AAA-grade free-to-play games in the coming months. As Kiwi combines re-imagined game mechanics, high-quality production values, meticulous polish and best-in-class distribution for their upcoming titles, the new team’s deep experience will bring cohesion to these disparate but equally important factors.
Eric Todd, Vice President of Creative and Creative Director
Eric Todd has more than 15 years of experience leading creative teams at Maxis, EA, and Disney Interactive/Playdom, and rejoins Kiwi co-founders Omar Siddiqui and Shvetank Jain and Vice President of Product John Hsu after previously working together at Disney/Playdom to build Gardens of Time, the GDC Online Game of the Year and top game on Facebook in 2011. As Vice President of Creative and Creative Director, Eric will help Kiwi take creative risks to build more ambitious games while overseeing character and narrative development.
Jason Woodward, Vice President and Executive Producer
With almost 20 years at Electronic Arts and other companies making action and sport games for console and PC, Jason is familiar with working on and leading huge AAA game productions such as Godfather 2, The Simpsons Game, Dead Space, Godfather, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Knockout Kings and March Madness. In his role as Vice President and Executive Producer at Kiwi, Jason oversees the development of upcoming releases and contributes to the organizational framework to make Kiwi’s AAA vision a reality.
Wes Culver, Director of Product
Wes Culver has spent 11 years in game development at EA, Zynga, and DNA Games, applying console and PC game production techniques to free-to-play titles. Prior to co-founding DNA Games in 2009 (acquired by Zynga in 2011), Wes spent almost seven years in AAA game production and leadership at Electronic Arts. Wes leads the product team on upcoming titles and leverages his extensive big-studio background to help Kiwi gain the benefit of his experience in both AAA console development and free-to-play expertise.
Pratik Patel, Lead Gameplay Engineer
Pratik Patel has spent 16 years leading technical teams in AAA console, PC, and mobile game development at Electronic Arts and Disney Interactive, including 10 years as Technical Director at Electronic Arts leading development of titles such as The Simpsons Game, Tiger Woods PGA Tour, James Bond: Everything or Nothing and FIFA 2003. He will be responsible for scaling Kiwi’s technical capabilities to meet the rigors of the next generation of game design.
Shawn Peters, Art Director
Shawn Peters has spent 15 years leading and developing the artistic direction of new IP’s on mobile, PC and console gaming as well as feature animation. Prior to joining Kiwi, he was Studio Art Director at GREE International developing titles such as IUGO Knights and Dragons, MLB full Deck, NFL Shuffle, Book of Ashes and Zombie Jombie. Shawn will be responsible for maximizing Kiwi’s creative abilities and production quality to meet the challenge of next generation AAA mobile game development.
About Kiwi, Inc.
Kiwi is a mobile entertainment company dedicated to building a AAA studio with the world’s best free-to-play games. Founded in August 2011 and headquartered in Palo Alto, the 150+ person company has been one of the most successful on the Android platform, and it is now building the next generation of blockbuster cross-platform mobile titles. Kiwi is a Top Developer on Google Play, also achieving five games in the Top 25 Grossing. Kiwi has raised a total of $21 million in funding and is backed by Sequoia Capital, Northgate Capital, and DFJ. For more information, visit: www.kiwiup.com
Tristan Kruth, TriplePoint