Former GTA boss’s Build A Rocket Boy announces hiring of PlayStation, 2K and NCsoft veterans


Evolution Studios co-founder Mick Hocking has been named as Chief Development Officer

Build A Rocket Boy, the studio established in 2016 by former Rockstar North president Leslie Benzies, has announced the appointment of three games industry veterans to its executive team.

It has hired Mick Hocking as its chief development officer, Murray Pannell as senior vice president of global marketing, and Randall Price as chief publishing officer.

Hocking previously served as studio director for SCE Liverpool Studio, PlayStation London Studio and MotorStorm developer Evolution Studios, which he also co-founded.

He was also vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and vice president of product development for Codemasters.

Pannell joined Build a Rocket Boy from 2K, where he was the vice president of publishing for Europe. He was also formerly marketing director for PlayStation UK and Ireland, marketing director for Ubisoft, and group product marketing manager for Xbox.

Price was most recently senior vice president of publishing for NCsoft, and previously spent 15 years at Guild Wars developer ArenaNet, where he served as senior vice president of global business.

“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,” said studio chairman and game director Benzies.

“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.”

Thursday’s news is the first announcement from the Scottish studio in nearly two years.

Build A Rocket Boy said on Thursday that it has a team of over 400 developers and technology innovators based in Edinburgh, Budapest and around the world working its debut title Everywhere, “with a goal to challenge the boundaries of video gaming and revolutionise entertainment”.

A report published earlier this year by Galaxy Interactive, a company which has invested in Build A Rocket Boy, described the game as “real-life Ready Player One”, referring to the book and movie about a virtual reality open world.

It called it an “open world AAA game with a multiplayer experience incorporating a multi-chapter epic narrative, user-generated content through a ‘virtual sandbox’ where players can create their own worlds, and deep social and streaming integrations”.

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