Crowfall’s Gordon Walton joins Raph Koster’s Playable Worlds MMO and platform


Raph Koster’s Playable Worlds MMORPG has picked up two new executives today: Gordon Walton and Omar Abdelwahed.

Walton will be immediately recognizable to modern MMO fans as he was one of the two bosses behind ArtCraft and Crowfall, whose meek launch last year led to the game being sold off to another studio as the team behind it moved to working on a second as-yet-unannounced title. But of course, Walton’s tenure in the MMO industry was long even before that, totaling 40 years in the industry; in particular, he spearheaded Koster’s older MMORPG sandboxes, including Star Wars Galaxies and Ultima Online. In fact, MMO players will surely remember that he was the SOE boss who originally pitched SWG’s NGE (as a second game), and then, once he realized the direction would destroy SWG, refused to implement it, which got him fired from SOE (which went on and implemented it anyway).

In any case, he’ll be Executive Producer and Chief Product Officer this time ’round.

Abdelwahed comes with “only” two decades under his belt in technical roles at multiple game companies, including Ubisoft as well as mobile games company East Side Games; he’ll take on the mantle of VP of Engineering for Koster’s title.

We’ve been covering Playable Worlds since 2019, when veteran MMO developer Raph Koster announced he was finally making a new MMO. Since then, he’s raised at least $37.5 million (that we publicly know of) from investors to build a real functioning metaverse platform on which his sandboxy MMORPG will rest – a game to “[fulfill] the dream of living worlds that we’ve all had for a couple of decades now” but ” built atop a modern, re-usable, scalable platform.” At the end of 2021, Koster wrote that his team is “reasonably far along on building” the game, though it’s “at least a few years out.” We don’t yet know what it’s called, either.

Further reading:

More coverage of Koster's writing and games
Source: Press release
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