Jagex hires Rockstar's Alex Horton as Chief Creative Officer

Alex Horton, an ex-Rockstar animator and designer whose resume includes Manhunt, Grand Theft Auto 3 and Red Dead Revolver, is now Chief Creative Officer at Jagex, the Cambridge developer most known for its free-to-play MMO RuneScape. Horton's position allows him oversight on the creative direction of every project in development at Jagex, and it's his responsibility to "ensure all of our games achieve their true mass market potential," according to CEO Mark Gerhard.

We give it three months before Horton's mental facilities are questioned due to his propensity towards conversing with dust-specks. What's that? Different Horton? Oh, this guy should be fine then.
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UK, Cambridge, 13th January, 2012 – Jagex Games Studio, the UK's largest independent games developer and publisher, today announced that Alex Horton has joined the company in the newly created role of Chief Creative Officer. Horton, who has an impressive resume of industry experience, will oversee creative direction of the company and its products.

As Jagex prepares to makes its next move into mass market online gaming it has seen the creation of many new roles to the company. Horton's position signifies the big changes Jagex is taking to securing its place as a major mainstream online entertainment destination in the coming years.

Speaking of his new post, Horton said; "Jagex has been around ever since I've been in the industry and it's been amazing to witness their development and creativity in the online gaming space over the last decade. Multiplayer Browser-based online gaming is the future and I am hugely excited and honoured to be a part of the UK's largest independent development space in this environment. Jagex is certainly the place to be."

Commenting on the appointment, Mark Gerhard, Jagex CEO said, "It gives me great pleasure to welcome Alex to the Jagex family as the company's first Chief Creative Officer. Alex will be working across the studios with our game design, development and creative teams to ensure all of our games achieve their true mass market potential. I know him to be hard working, passionate, driven and straight talking – a perfect match for Jagex DNA."

Horton has worked his way up through the industry, starting as Lead Animator on Grand Theft Auto 3, to making a huge impact as Art and Animation Director at Rockstar Games, where he oversaw the launch of such games as Manhunt, Red Dead Revolver as well as the Grand Theft Auto series. He then spent several years as a freelance consultant and designer, specialising in art direction and virtual cinematography before coming back to the games industry and relocating from NY to join the Jagex team in Cambridge.

Jagex's portfolio of games, both released and in development, will benefit from the creativity, experience and gaming passion Horton brings to the company. With RuneScape, Jagex's flagship product, going from strength to strength as it enters its second decade Horton's input and direction will no doubt have an enormously positive effect on the success of the game going forward.

Jagex have also just beta released its new casual strategy game 8Realms.com, which already is enjoying a staggering success and Horton already has his teeth firmly into the two MMO's in development, Stellar Dawn and Transformers Universe.

Gerhard added; "The entire studio is very excited about the big year ahead and all of the teams are hugely focussed on the enormous task ahead of us. We are so pleased to have Alex on board and although the challenges ahead of us require a ton of hard work, Alex's appointment makes us even more confident of success."

About Jagex - Just About the Game Experience

Jagex Games Studio is a multi-award winning games developer based in Cambridge, England. Jagex specialises in the development of high quality browser-based games and is the largest independent games developer and publisher in the UK.

Jagex has a long-standing reputation for creating the world's best online games and for developing hugely popular, high quality, accessible, free-to-play games and for providing an unbeatable community experience for millions of players around the world. Jagex has developed and self-published over 40 online titles, including the world's most popular free multiplayer online game, RuneScape.com

In addition to RuneScape, Jagex self-publishes games on its games portal Jagex.com, and has released a series of successful iPhone games including BounceDown, StarCannon, and Miner Disturbance. Jagex also acts as a third-party publisher for likeminded developers, publishing titles such as the Herotopia, the online virtual world for children, the real-time strategy game War of Legends, and the iPhone title Undercroft.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.