Who is working at 2K's brand new Silicon Valley studio?

Who is working at 2K's brand new Silicon Valley studio?

In February 2019, Take-Two's 2K Games publishing arm revealed that it was setting up a brand new studio in Silicon Valley.

Sledgehammer and Visceral vet Michael Condrey was brought on board to head up this new developer, having left his undisclosed role at publishing behemoth Activision. There's little word on what 2K Silicon Valley is working on at the moment, but the studio has attracted a wealth of talent, including 19 alums from Sledgehammer and 21 from Visceral and EA. That's on top of the seven developers who previously worked at Crystal Dynamics.

As reported last week, the studio's workforce does, however, fall short of the diversity that Condrey said he was aiming for when 2K Silicon Valley was announced earlier this year, with the publishing giant once again stating its commitment to bringing in a broad array of talent to its developers. 

In the meantime, here is who is working at 2K Silicon Valley, broken down by individual departments.

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  • 1 The Boss

    The Boss logo

    Michael Condrey, President

    Like many industry high flyers, Michael Condrey started out in game testing in 1998 for Need for Speed III: Hot Pursuit. That same year, he moved to a producer role on FIFA 99, before working on titles including James Bond 007: Nightfire and The World is Not Enough. His directorial debut was 2004's James Bond titles Everything or Nothing and From Russia with Love, before serving as senior development director on Dead Space in 2008.

    The following year he helped found Sledgehammer Games, working on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Advanced Warfare and WWII during his nine-and-a-half year stint at the studio he helped establish. In February 2018, both Condrey and fellow co-founder Glen Schofield stepped down from Sledgehammer to move to exec roles at publisher Activision. The following December, Schofield left - ultimately ending up working at PUBG Corp - while Condrey was named as the boss of 2K's new Silicon Valley venture in February 2019.

  • 2 Design and Production

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    Jon Horsley, Head of Development

    For his entire career, Jon Horsley has been working in production. He started out as VP of of product development in 1992 at Tomb Raider maker Crystal Dynamics, a role he held for five years before moving to Electronic Arts. There he worked as an executive producer, working on numerous, including the publisher's James Bond licensed games. Horsley was at the Redwood-based giant for almost eight years before being hired by Activision as general manager for the company's San Mateo-based studio. There he headed up work on prototypes for Band Hero, Wolverine and Marvel Heroes. After 26 months, he moved back to Electronic Arts, this time as vice president of production for the firm's North American and Asian businesses. This stint lasted six years, before Horsley headed to Supercane Games for a one year and eight months, before heading to New York-based Tilting Point for just under a year.

    In May 2016, he was hired by Activision-owned Sledgehammer Games as senior director of product development working on - you guessed it - Call of Duty. In February 2019, Horsley joined 2K's Silicon Valley studio as head of development.

    Sean Soucy, Creative Director

    Sean Soucy's games career started in 1999 as a level designer at Electronic Arts before moving to Pandemic Studios in 2001 as a level designer. Following a two-year stint at Gray Matter Studios, he returned to Pandemic for five years until November 2009 prior to half-a-year EA as senior multiplayer designer.

    That was before he joined Sledgehammer games in 2010, initially working as lead level designer and then holding various roles on and off at the company, including technical design consultant, lead co-op designer and principal multiplayer designer. He left the Call of Duty studio in February 2019, to start as creative director at 2K Silicon Valley.

    Riley Pietsch, Principal Designer

    Riley Pietsch's desire to break industry has obviously been there for some time, with the designer working in volunteer positions at both IndieCade in 2011 and 2012 and the Game Developers Conference 2013.

    His first role as a designer was at USC Games on Scrapyard in 2012, before he worked for a year at IndieCade in game maker relations between 2013 and 2014. From there he spent another 13 months at USC Games, this time working on Rhea and interning at Industrial Toys at the same time. In March 2014, he was hired by Polyseum as team lead and co-lead on design for a game called Networked. In June 2015, he was hired as a multiplayer systems designer before being promoted to senior systems designer in March 2018. That was until April 2019, when 2K's Silicon Valley studio hired him as its principal designer.

    Daniel Bryner, Principal Designer

    Designer Daniel Bryner started out in games at Disney Interactive Studios in 2006, with a seven-month stint as a creative development associate. This was followed by another short five-month stint at Pittsburgh's Entertainment Technology Center. in 2007 he found a more permanent home with a three-year period spent at Crystal Dynamics working on both Tomb Raider Underworld and Guardian of Light. In 2010 he moved to fellow California studio Sanzaru Games, starting as senior game designer and being promoted to lead level designer. In July 2013 he was hired by Sledgehammer as a lead designer, moving to Ubisoft San Francisco for eight months before 2K Silicon Valley in March 2019 as principal designer.

    Josh Katz, Principal Designer

    Between June 2003 and December 2009, Josh Katz worked as a game designer at Electronic Arts on the first two Godfather video games, as well as Dante's Inferno and Dead Space 2. In January 2010, he was moved to Sledgehammer, holding the role of senior level designer on Call of Duty titles Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops II and Advanced Warfare, before being promoted to principal multiplayer designer in March 2015. From here, he was hired as principal designer at 2K's Silicon Valley studio.

    Dennis Adams, Senior Producer

    Dennis Adams' career started not in games but in animation, working as a production supervisor at The Walt Disney Company for five years. In 2006, he then moved to Rough Draft Studios as a digital co-ordinator on The Simpsons Movie before a ten-month stint as associate art manager at Perpetual Entertainment. It was in 2008 that he made his debut in games, joining Cryptic Studios as associate producer. He was promoted to producer after just under three years, before rising to senior producer in 2014. From there he joined Sledgehammer Games as development director in May 2016, a role he held until April of this year when he moved to 2K Silicon Valley as a senior producer.

  • 3 Art and Animation

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    Andrew Wilson, Lead Animator

    In 2007, Andrew Wilson - not to be confused with the CEO of EA - landed his first work in the games industry as a lead animator on title called Symantec: Endpoint, a promo game from the makers of Norton Antivirus. In December 2007, he joined Timegate Studios as an animator working on projects including Section 8 and its 2011 follow-up Prejudice, as well as Aliens: Colonial Marines. In January 2011, he was hired by Uncharted studio Naughty Dog as gameplay animator and ended up staying at the studio until June 2019 when 2K Silicon Valley hired him as lead animator.

    Shay Stone, Senior Animator

    Animator Shay Stone has been working in games since 2011 when she landed a role at Oktobor, working on Penguins of Madagascar and Robot and Monster for Nickelodeon. From there she joined Playstation in San Diego - via a three month stint doing character animation advertising for The Sims 4 - working on first-party titles such as Killzone: Shadow Fall, The Order 1886 and The Last of Us: Left Behind. She left Sony, working at animation studios Bardel and Icon Creative before spending two years at Sony Pictures' Imageworks outfit. In June 2018, she joined Blue Sky Studios before moving to 2K Silicon Valley 12 months later as a senior animator.

    Grant Whitten, Senior Artist

    Whitten's career in the games industry kicked off in November 2006 as a 3D modeler and texture artist for titles including Wheelman and Blacksite: Area 51 before moving to Electronic Arts as an environment artist in May 2008. He was at the Redwood games giant for five months, departing for the same role at Midway for just six months straight afterwards. In April 2009, he worked as an environment artist at Sony Computer Entertainment's American branch, primarily on PlayStation Home, before being hired by Sledgehammer in September 2010. He remained here until March of this year, moving to 2K Silicon Valley as a senior artist.

    Eric Pavey, Technical Art Director

    In 1995, Eric Pavey's career in development started with a four-month stint at Neversoft Entertainment as a CG artist. This was before two short stints at Luminous Media and Viridis, after which he moved to Square's US business, working on titles including Final Fantasy IX and Parasite Eve. Between 2000 and 2002, Pavey worked as a senior animator on Ronin Entertainment's Bruce Lee: Quest of the Dragon, until he was hired by Visceral. His time at the Electronic Arts-owned developer lasted seven-and-a-half years, during which time he worked on Dead Space and its sequel, as well as games based on the Lord of the Rings and Godfather IP, before he was hired by Sledgehammer in August 2009. Here he was a character technical artist on titles including Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, Advanced Warfare and WWIi before moving to 2K Silicon Valley in March 2019.

    Lucas St.Martin, Lead Character Artist

    In 2009, St. Martin made his break into the games indsutry with a one year internship at developer 38 Studios, rising to character artist in July 2010. He remained with the firm until September 2012, when he was hired by Cryptic Studios as a character artist, a a role he held for two years. The developer moved to MMO specialist Trion Worlds in October 2014, working on Atlas Reactor for another two years before he was hired by Cold Iron Studios first as a senior character artist, then as a lead/principal character artist in January 2019. Six months later in June of this year, he was snapped up by 2K Silicon Valley, where he is the lead character artist.

    Lawrence Mai, Art Director

    Lawrence Mai began his career as a concept artist at Electronic Arts, where he worked for almost six years. In January 2010, he joined Sledgehammer Games as a senior concept artist, rising to lead concept artist in March of the next year before being promoted to associate art director in February 2018. He held that role until being promoted to art director at 2K Silicon Valley.

    Anthony Ermio, Senior Artist

    Anthony Ermio's career in games kicked off with a one-year stint at Electronic Arts as a concept artist, before he made the move to LucasFilm Animation in 2005 in the same role. After over two-and-a-half years, he was promoted to lighting concept artist, a position he held for more than five years. In July 2013, he went freelance, working as an illustrator for DeNA, Wizards of the Coast and Telltale, before going in-house at Hangar 13 as senior concept artist. Here he worked on Mafia III, and left in March 2018 to join Sledgehammer Games. In May 2019, he was snapped up by 2K Silicon Valley as a senior artist.

    Brian West, Senior 3D Artist

    West's career started in 2000 as an artist at Massive Black, a San Francisco-based creative agency for the entertainment and advertising industries. He was at this firm for six year, before moving to development studio Factor5 as an artist in 2006 for less than a year. He then spent six months at Dead Space maker Visceral Games an environmental artist, before moving to Sledgehammer in March 2010 as vehicle weapons artist. He moved to RPG maker inXile in March 2015 as a senior environment artist. In June 2019, he was hired by 2K Silicon Valley as senior 3D artist.

    Gerardo Garza, Principal Artist

    Garza's career kicked off in 2004 when he was hired as a concept artist at Electronic Arts, where he worked for over two years. In 2006, he moved to Rockstar New England as an art director and lead environment artist. In July 2008, he was hired by Activision Blizzard as senior environment artist before moving back to Electronic Arts in February 2010, this time as a senior modeler.

    He moved to Sledgehammer as a lead environment between April 2013 and August 2018 working on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and WWII. In April 2019, he was hired by 2K Silicon Valley as principal artist.

    Stephen Tang, Principal Artist

    Since 1994, Stephen Tang has been working in design in one way or another, starting out doing graphic design for brochures and print ads, moving into city planning before joining SSI to create maps for strategy titles in 1996. From there he has held design and art roles at the likes of Cyclone Studios and THQ before landing a role at EA in 2001 as a senior artist. He was at the Redwood firm for nine years, working on 007 Nightfire, Dead Space, Lord of the Rings: The Third Age among others. In 2010 he was hired by Sledgehammer as a senior artist and ended up working at the Call of Duty maker until April 2019 when he was hired as a principal artist for 2K's new Silicon Valley studio.

    Himchan Kim, Concept Artist

    Himchan Kim might be the 2K Silicon Valley employee with the shortest career to date. His work kicked off in May 2015 with a three-month stint as a UI artist at Wing Studio, before working as a freelance illustrator during 2016. For two months he was a prop artist at San Francisco's Present Creative, before working towards a BA in Game Design from the Academy of Art University between 2016 and 2019. After graduating, he was hired by 2K Silicon Valley in July 2019 as a concept artist.

    Dustin Davis, Principal Character Artist

    Davis' career in games started in 2004 with five-month stints doing character modelling at Archimage on Escape from Diab and LA Rush at Pendulum Studios. In 2005 he was snapped up by EA Chicago, working as a character and lead technical character artist on Def Jam Icon and its sequel, as well as Fight Night Round 3. He was hired by Sega as a senior character artist where he worked for almost three years before a nine-year stint at Sledgehammer Games as an expert character artist. In June 2019, he was brought on board as a principal character artist at 2K's new Silicon Valley studio.

    Matt Bein, Principal Environment Artist

    Environment artist Matt Bein started off at California's Totally Games working on projects such as Secret Weapons Over Normandy and Star Trek: Bridge Commander. After three years and three months, he moved to Crystal Dynamics in October 2004, contributing to the Tomb Raider franchise in his close-to five-year stint as a senior environment artist. In September 2009, he was hired by Sledgehammer Games being promoted to expert environmental artist. He left the Call of Duty studio in October 2018 and following an eight-month stint at Cold Iron Studios, moved to 2K Silicon Valley as a principal environment artist.

  • 4 The Engineering Team

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    Prateek Gudihal, Senior Engineer

    Having obtained both a BA and MA from Carnegie Mellon University, Gudihal landed his first role in the games industry as a game design intern at Autodesk. That was before he was hired as an associate gameplay engineer at Call of Duty maker Sledgehammer Games in May 2014, a role he held until his promotion to gameplay engineer at the start of 2017. Two years later he rose up to senior gameplay engineer, but left in April 2019 to join 2K's new Silicon Valley studio as a senior engineer.

    Tom Desmarais, Principal Engineer

    Kicking off his career as a software engineer at Battelle and Amtech, Tom Desmarais joined the games industry in 1993, being hired by American Laser Games in 1993 before moving to Acclaim's CoinOp department in 1996. Two years later he was hired by Crystal Dynamics as a senior software engineer, and he ended up staying at the Tomb Raider developer for over ten years. In 2008, he was hired by Electronic Arts in the same role before Sledgehammer snapped him up in September 2009 as lead gameplay programmer, being promoted first to lead multiplayer programmer in 2012 and then principal software engineer in March 2015. After 12 years at the Call of Duty developer, he was hired by 2K Silicon Valley as principal engineer.

    Simon Cooper, Principal Engineer

    Simon Cooper's career kicked off in 2000 with a four-year stint at Burnout maker Criterion where he worked as a software engineer. In 2004, he was hired by Electronic Arts as a senior engineer, working at the Redwood games giant for over eight-and-a-half years on projects including Dead Space 2 and 3, as well as The Godfather II and The Simpsons Game.

    In 2013, Activision's Sledgehammer Games hired him as a principal software engineer on Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, which launched the following year, and 2017's WWII. In June 2019, 2K Silicon Valley brought him on board as a principal engineer.

    Karteek Kumar Mekala, Senior Engineer

    Mekala's debut in games was at Bangalore, India-based Appy Monkeys, where he worked on Richochet: Retro Space Shooter for the iPhone. In 2012 he moved to California as a software engineer intern for Apple for three months before starting a six-month stint at Zynga as a software engineer. In March 2014 he was hired by Activision's Sledgehammer studio as a senior gameplay engineer for over five years, initially on Call of Duty Advanced Warfare, then WWII before starting work an unannounced title. In June 2019, he joined 2K Silicon Valley as senior engineer.

    David Kuo, Configuration Management Lead

    David Kuo's career in games started - like many - in quality assurance. He worked in the QA team over at Electronic Arts for one year starting in 2005, being promoted to build engineer in March of 2006. He held this role for almost four years, ultimately moving to Call of Duty studio Sledgehammer Games in January 2010. He worked at the studio for just under a decade, contributing to 2014's Advanced Warfare and WWII three years later. In February of this year, Kuo was snapped up by 2K Silicon Valley as the lead engineer for configuration and build.

    Chris Chu, Senior Engineer

    The majority of Chris Chu's 14-year-long career has been at two companies; EA and Sledgehammer Games. The engineer started out at Electronic Arts, working as a software engineer on titles including The Godfather and its 2009 sequel, sci-fi survival horror title Dead Space, as well as 2010's Dante's Inferno. That year he was hired as a senior tool engineer by Call of Duty maker Sledgehammer Games, working on Modern Warfare 3, Advanced Warfare and WWII as senior tool manager. After nine years at the COD studio, Chu moved to 2K's new Silicon Valley developer as a senior engineer.

    Simon Cooper, Principal Engineer

    Simon Cooper's games career started in 2000 at Burnout maker Criterion Software where he worked as a senior engineer between 2000 and 2004. At that point he was hired by Electronic Arts' Redwood Shores studio, where he worked in the same role working on games such as Dead Space 2 and 3, The Simpsons Game, The Godfather II and Dante's Inferno: Trials of St Lucia.

    After over eight-and-a-half years, he was hired by Activision, where he worked as a principal software engineer from June 2013 on Call of Duty: WWII and Advanced Warfare at Sledgehammer Games. Six years later, he made the leap to 2K's Silicon Valley studio as principal engineer.

    Marc David, Principal Engineer

    Marc David's career in software engineering began in a slightly more different place than many of his teammates. The developer's first job was as an engineer for the Naval Research Lab, where he worked on pattern recognition software and hardware for the military. In 1995 he left to join Konami as a team lead, working on the M2 hardware before deciding he wanted to work on the PlayStation platform. He did this at Crystal Dynamics, being hired as a lead engineer in 1997 and working on Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver and its sequel. After almost five years, he was snapped up by Electronic Arts as tool lead engineer, working on The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, as well as other games including The Godfather, Dead Space and Dante's Inferno. In 2010 he moved to Sledgehammer Games as a lead tools/principal engineer on that studio's three Call of Duty games. In March 2019, he was snapped up by 2K Silicon Valley as a principal engineer.

    Tom Felker, Principal Software Engineer

    Like with many 2K Silicon Valley employees, Tom Felker started his career at Electronic Arts, first as a three-month internship before joining as a software engineer properly in August 2008. He held this role until February 2010, moving to Sledgehammer Games at this point as a gameplay engineer. After nine and a half years, Felker moved on, being hired by 2K Silicon Valley as principal software engineer.

    Danny Chan, Principal Engineer

    Danny Chan's career reads very much like a who's who of the California games market. Starting in 1994 at Crystal Dynamics as a senior programmer working at Gex and Gex: Enter the Gecko, he moved to Naughty Dog as a lead programmer on Crash Team Racing after almost four years. In December 1999, he took a break from game development to found and programme news search engine Daypop, before returning to the fold and setting up Heroes & Giants, which worked on From Russia With Love and Hamster Golf alongside some work-for-hire. In July 2006, he worked at Afro Samurai at Bandai Namco, before joining EA's Visceral studio as a senior software engineer. Like many 2K Silicon Valley employees, Chan joined Sledgehammer where he worked for over ten years. That was before joining 2K's new studio as a principal engineer in March 2019.

    Damon Rocco, Principal Server Engineer

    Starting out in 2009 as a game developer for MusicLoveLife, Damon Racco joined EA in 2010 for a four-month software engineering intern. That was before he was hired by BioWare as a software engineer in July 2011, a role he held until June 2012 when he co-founded mobile studio Brothersport Games. In April 2014 he joined Crittercism as a software engineer, rising to senior software engineer at October of that year. In March 2015 he joined Nexon M, first as a senior software engineer, before being promoted to tech lead within ten months and then principal software engineer in April 2016. This was before a two-year stint as lead server engineer for nWay. In June 2019, he joined 2K Silicon Valley as a principal server engineer.

  • 5 Admin

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    Suzanne Lettrick, Director of People and Culture Development

    Joining 2K Silicon Valley marks Suzanne Lettrick's first role in the games industry and follows in the wake of a rather busy career. From the year 2000, she has been involved in numerous businesses and organisation either at a founding or director level, running Lettrick and Associates - which taught youths skills including personal leadership and wellness - as well as being a director and founder of the Global Education and Action Network. That's on top of research work for Injaz Al Arab, founding The Mind Brain Education Services Network and being a VR learning strategist for Luminous4D. In February this year she was hired by 2K's Silicon Valley as director of people and culture development.

    Brooke Grabrian, Head of Talent

    For the last 22 years, Brooke Grabrian has worked in recruitment, starting out as a staffing consultant at Nelson Staffing Solutions. This was a role she held until she founded Fishpond Recruiting in March 2001. After five-and-a-half years, she moved to 2K as talent advisor in October 2007 and has worked at the company ever since, taking on the role of head of talent in February 2019 at 2K's Silicon Valley studio.

    Lori Jo Sanders, Operations Manager

    Most of Lori Jo Sanders' career has been spent outside of games. She started out in 1995 with a nine-year stint as options manager at The Surland Companies before two years at CalAtlantic Homes in the same role. The next eight years was split between working as COO and VP sales at Lea Journo Cosmetique and then senior executive director at California's Carl Zeiss X-ray Microscopy.

    In October 2016, she was hired by Sledgehammer Games as executive assistant to the studio head, a role she held until April of this year when she was hired by 2K Silicon Valley as operations manager.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.