Ellis will be based at Nival’s flagship studio in Moscow, Russia and his main responsibilities will include: overseeing the Russian studios; helping the company’s developers and artists understand the worldwide games market more thoroughly; bridging communications between the U.S. and Russia; and inspiring the teams’ transition to next-generation console development.
“There’s no one more qualified than Joss to manage large teams in the production of high-quality video games – particularly across the wide range of game platforms that make up the modern landscape of gaming,” said Kevin Bachus, CEO of Nival Interactive. “As the first European employee of Electronic Arts, Joss gained invaluable experience in growing a company to market leadership and I look forward to watching him apply those lessons as Nival continues on its path to becoming a top worldwide game developer and outsourcing resource.”
On the heels of the successful launch of Heroes of Might and Magic V, which Nival developed for UbiSoft, Nival is poised to expand beyond its dominance in the PC market into globally relevant, high-quality console, video and mobile games. Ellis will provide a crucial link in Nival’s strategy to combine proven Western creative and management resources with exceptional development talent in lower cost regions of the world.
Prior to joining Nival Interactive, Ellis was the Chief Operating Officer and Development Director at Argonaut Games from 2001 to 2005. While at Argonaut, Ellis oversaw game development, sales, contract negotiation, day-to-day management and investor relations. During his tenure at Argonaut, he was successful in transitioning it into a next-generation console developer, increasing the company’s production fivefold, spearheading the acquisition of three companies, and tripling its client base and its workforce.
“Nival’s Moscow studio is a highly respected developer with a ten-year history of making high-quality games, and I am honored to be able to work with this team,” said Ellis. “I am really looking forward to leveraging the opportunities that result from having a U.S. business development and games production team coupled with cost-effective development. This combination allows for a lot of creativity and flexibility in game creation.”
Ellis also worked at Virgin Interactive Entertainment as Vice President of International Development. In concert with his SVP of Publishing, Ellis managed all software development outside of North America, and oversaw contract negotiation and relationships with key third-party publishers, such as Capcom. In addition to rebuilding Virgin’s product line and driving the company to profitability after its sale to Viacom, Ellis was a pioneer in commissioning development to Eastern Europe and outsourcing work to the Far East during his five-year term.
Before Virgin, Ellis was the first European employee at Electronic Arts, where he spent nine years in a variety of capacities, from producer to director of European development. As a member of EA’s European board of directors, Ellis was directly involved in the planning and execution of EA Europe's growth strategies. He was instrumental in the acquisition and production of the FIFA International Soccer franchise, one of EA’s most successful franchises. While at EA, Ellis also worked on porting key U.S. titles to European platforms and was integral in the production of EA’s first European line-up of products.