IT wizard Robert Troughtman is game for a new challenge.
The former Epic Games UK general manager has set up new game development firm Coconut Lizard and is looking to expand after a number of contract wins.
The business, formed in September, has plans to grow its numbers to between 15 and 20 by the end of this year. It counts US-based Boss Key Productions among its clients, which sees it work on projects including new AAA game Law Breakers.
Robert, who was managing director of Pitbull Studio which was bought out by Epic Games in 2014, said that the two latest appointments – Terence Burns and Joe Tidmarsh as senior programmers – would help strengthen the company’s position in the market.
“I’ve worked with Terry and Joe for many years now,” he said. “Both joined Pitbull Studio in the early days, working on Unreal Engine and associated projects, then became part of the Epic Games team following our acquisition.
“They were very important to that transition happening and, so, it’s a fantastic win for Coconut Lizard that they’ve joined the team here. By choosing the very best developers, we really are creating a dream team that can be deployed to a project to help bring it to market at a fantastically polished standard.”
Robert has a strong track record in the industry, having grown Pitbull Studio from a team of five to more than 40: “I have similar ambitions for Coconut Lizard – rapid expansion,” he said.
“And a key factor in that will be having the most skilled and experienced industry professionals who deliver exceptional work for their clients.”
He believes being based at the E-volve centre in Rainton Bridge will help that process.
“Sunderland is very well placed, at the heart of a region that is building a strong reputation in the game development sector,” he said.
“There’s a fantastic talent pool in the North East, and – being based between the North and South of the region – means we have access to that whole talent pool.
“We want to be in the top one per cent of the industry. Terence and Joe’s appointments are the first steps.”