Atari appoints new Senior VP of Product Development

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Atari, a global interactive entertainment company, announced today the appointment of John Hayase as Senior Vice President of Product Development. The announcement was made by Atari CEO, Jeff Lapin to whom Hayase will report.

In his new role as SVP of Product Development, Hayase will focus on overseeing all of Atari’s development studios, including Los Angeles, Cryptic Studios and Eden Games. Additionally Hayase will manage a full slate of games that include previously announced titles such as Test Drive Unlimited 2, Neverwinter, The UnderGarden and Blade Kitten.

Most recently, Hayase served as Executive Director of Development and Studio Head at Sony Online Entertainment where he oversaw development and live support of successful PC online multiplayer games such as EverQuest, EverQuest II and Free Realms, as well as downloadable games for the Sony PlayStation Network such as Wheel of Fortune, Peggle and Mortal Kombat II. Prior to joining Sony Online Entertainment, Hayase held a variety of roles at Electronic Arts, including Executive Producer at EA Visceral Studios and GM of EA China.

"John joins Atari during an essential growth period in which we continue to transition our business toward the online space while maintaining a focus on retail," said Jeff Lapin, CEO of Atari. "His strong background leading development teams to produce free-to-play MMOs, digital and retail console products with some of the industry’s most respected publishers, will serve Atari well as we move forward."

"I can’t think of a better time to join Atari as the company expands its games business online," said Hayase. "I look forward to leading Atari’s talented studios and delivering memorable gameplay experiences, further contributing to the company’s development and success."

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