Lunenburg video game developer names new chief executive

by Keith Corcoran

HB Studios welcomes a new chief executive at a time when the Lunenburg-headquartered video game development firm is in hiring mode for more professionals to carry on its long-time tradition of crafting console, mobile, hand-held and PC games.

"We're looking at [hiring] anywhere from five-plus more [software] engineers at this point, but we're also looking at bolstering our 3D art department. I don't really see that slowing down anytime soon," said James Seaboyer, recently appointed the company's CEO. He didn't have exact figures on the number of new jobs but the preference is to have them start in Lunenburg where the core leadership of the firm is located.

Bridgewater-born Seaboyer, 36, takes over from Alan Bunker, who recently departed from the company after four years in the top job.

HB Studios founder and majority shareholder, Jeremy Wellard, said Seaboyer, whom he's known for years, is the right fit. He referred to him as a "proven leader with extensive experience" with "an excellent understanding of the business and skilled at maintaining strong relationships with the company's valuable publishers and external partners."

Wellard's comments were contained in a statement released by the company.

Seaboyer "is an extraordinary fit for this role and I am excited about what the future holds for HB under the new leadership. I'd also like to take this opportunity to thank Alan for all his amazing work in the role since I retired and I wish him luck in whatever he chooses to do next."

Seaboyer has been with HB Studios since 2007 and last held the post of executive producer, responsible for game development teams at company's Lunenburg and Halifax locations. He has credits for more than a dozen games and has specific expertise in managing external projects commissioned by the largest publishers in the industry.

He sees the CEO position as an extension of what he was already doing. "Moving forward is my approach, to still continue collaborations with that senior management group very closely, and pull from the strengths and knowledge and skills those different individuals have," he told LighthouseNOW.

"I don't have intentions to come in and really shake things up drastically right now because the company is in a good place," Seaboyer told LighthouseNOW. "We've good partnerships and we've got some good projects we've working on and we have good staff. We need to work on how we need to recruit and grow our company and retain our staff and make great gains and make money."

One of the focuses is to snag developers work with HB. He points out the concept isn't quantity of product, but creating quality experiences.

"If you don't have the people, you can't take advantage of the opportunities that come along," added Seaboyer.

Meanwhile, HB Studios announced Dave McFarland is moving to the position of chief technology officer from that of technical director. Seaboyer said it's a change in responsibly for him and not just a shift in title. McFarland, another long-time employee, brings technical representation to the studio-level decision making process within the executive group.

HB Studios employs about 70 people who work in the fields of game development. Those positions include graphic artists, audio developers, animators, and software engineers. Most of the workers are employed at the Lunenburg headquarters.

The company, founded in 2000, has shipped 50 titles, selling over 28 million units, and contributed to 21 others. Currently, "several" projects are on the go but details remain confidential until officially announced.

More about the company can be found at www.hb-studios.com on the internet.

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