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Leeds game developer announces expansion plans with new management trio

Just Add Water management trio

Development studio Just Add Water, best known for Gravity Crash and various Oddworld titles, has appointed a trio of senior hires following the death of co-founder and CEO Stewart Gilray, who passed away in January aged 51.

The new leadership team, which includes a new Chief Operations Officer, Director and Business Development Director, will build on Gilray’s legacy and work on his plans he had in place to grow the studio.

The Leeds-based development studio plans to move to new offices in the Summer, in preparation to expand to a headcount of 60 over the next 18 months. 

Joel Benton (pictured, right) joins the company as Business Development Director. He has a wealth of experience representing and building studios, previously working with Sumo Digital, Rebellion and Kuju Entertainment.

Viktorya Hollings (pictured, left) has been appointed as Chief Operations Officer, who has extensive experience leading large studios and small specialist teams from start-up growth to IPO.

She previously held the role as Head of Studio at PopCap Games/EA, where she grew and launched the mobile titles Bejeweled and Plants Vs Zombies and the Medical Training VR which is currently being trialed at Stanford University.

Bec Gilray (pictured, centre) is the final senior hire joining the company as a Director. After running her own creative design business for 12 years, she is an avid gamer and champion of her late husband Stewart and the team at Just Add Water. She will bring her marketing, social media and entrepreneurial experience to the team.

Joel Benton, Business Development Director said: “Over the years Stew and I often discussed the strategy for building the studio which ultimately concluded with me putting my money where my mouth is and investing in the business towards the end of last year. Although I’m devastated to embark on this journey without my great friend, I’m delighted to be part of a forward-looking management and development team with an enviable track record.”

Viktorya Hollings, Chief Operations Officer, said: “Having worked with Stew and the team at Just Add Water last year, as a consultant, it felt right to come on board and be part of taking the studio forward. It’s exciting to be working with Joel, Bec, Les, our trusted Studio Director, and the super-talented developers here.”

Bec Gilray, Director, added: “After 16 years of walking beside Stew as he built Just Add Water and planned for the future, I’m happy to be working with our new management team as we move the company forward.  The developers, both past and present, have played a huge role in making Just Add Water what it is, and I’m looking forward to bringing new team members on board as we build a studio that we can all be proud of.”

The studio has a number of projects underway including a full reboot of a recently purchased IP.

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