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ID@Xbox's Simonetta departs for Thunderful Games

ID@Xbox's Simonetta departs for Thunderful Games

Agostino Simonetta is leaving Microsoft's indie-focused ID@Xbox division to join Swedish publisher Thunderful.

He has been hired as chief strategy and investment officer at the firm, having spent seven years as director of global partnership management for ID@Xbox. Before that he held a similar role over at PlayStation Europe, where he worked for five years. He has also held producer positions at Climax Brighton, THQ and Sega Europe during his career.

“For me, Thunderful represents an exciting opportunity to take all the experience I’ve amassed over the last 20 years and plug it into a company that has developers and their goals at their heart,” Simonetta said.

“Through Thunderful I can continue to support developers all over the world, and will help bring great developers and games into the Thunderful family.”

Thunderful Group CEO Brjann Sigurgeirsson added: “We are game developers at heart, and we always put the wants and needs of game developers at the centre of what we do. That runs right through the games we make and publish, the studios we’ve acquired, and the appointments we’ve made in the business. Getting Ago on board is a big reinforcement, and I’m very happy that he’s joining the family. He understands the Thunderful project and is eager to help us build it. He's well-known throughout the industry and has vital connections with the kind of talented studios we want to work with.”

Thunderful Group was founded back in 2017. The following year, the company purchased indie label Rising Star Games, as well as UK indie studio and publisher Coatsink in 2020.

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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.