The CEO and Co-founder of BigWorld will leave the Australia-based company, the studio that created the leading middleware platform for the development of online games: BigWorld Technology.
Canberra, Australia – August 8, 2012
Mr John De Margheriti will be stepping down as CEO of BigWorld Pty Ltd later this week and Co-Founder Steve Wang will be appointed as BigWorld’s new Director, reporting to the new owners of the company, Wargaming.net. Simon Hayes will continue as CTO of BigWorld.
John co-founded Micro Forté in 1985 along with Steve Wang, Stephen Lewis, John Reidy and later Simon Hayes. After playing one of his favourite strategy games via a 300 baud modem, he realised that one day many games would become multiplayer, becoming one of the first people in the world to predict the advent of Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) and the need for a middleware platform. That platform would eventually become BigWorld Technology.
By patenting a system and method for Massively Multiplayer Online Games in 1995 with Stephen Lewis, he was able to raise venture capital from Allen and Buckeridge, a leading Australian Venture firm, on his first pitch. Grants from the AusIndustry R&D “Start” program enabled Steve, Simon and lead server developer Paul Murphy, along with the tireless commitment of their core development team, to create what would become the world’s leading online game middleware company.
Together, John, Steve, Simon and later Gavin Longhurst as VP of Business Development, have been the creative, business and technical force behind the company for over 27 years. Their loyalty to each other and their complementary skills have served Micro Forté and BigWorld well.
Mr De Margheriti said “I believe that BigWorld is a great fit for Wargaming, and the acquisition is a very smart move by this growing global giant. They now have secured the best online games platform on the market, something that has taken my team and I over twelve years to develop. It will give Wargaming an unprecedented opportunity to provide their hard core audience an even more amazing experience. The acquisition will mean more jobs at BigWorld, who are already planning to move to larger offices.”
“I have mixed emotions about the sale. It will be sad to be no longer working with my friends and in particular Steve Wang whom I have worked with since leaving University, Simon Hayes who architected the BigWorld platform and Gavin Longhurst who travelled the globe in search of licensees,” said De Margheriti, “I’m proud of the company that we have all built together and especially proud that the proceeds of the sale will also benefit many of our employee shareholders, as well as help to provide bonuses for our committed staff that have all contributed to making BigWorld the success that it is today. A big thank you to all our customers who have supported my quest in building BigWorld into what it is today with their precious online games. I now feel that I have accomplished what I set out to do with BigWorld and am keen to focus on some new dreams.”
Mr De Margheriti plans to focus his energies on providing some consultancy services to Wargaming.net, as well as the ongoing global expansion of the non-profit Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE), Australia’s leading 3D animation, game design and visual FX educator. He will also continue his active involvement in the games industry, but will be taking a well-deserved break to spend more time with family and friends.
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BigWorld Pty Ltd was formed in 2002, and has offices in Australia, Europe, USA and China. BigWorld Technology provides developers of online games a competitive advantage by significantly reducing risk, cost and time to market. The BigWorld Technology Suite includes a highly scalable and stable server, robust next-gen client, content creation tools, a library of 3rd party plugins, full support, and other accompanying tools. Multiple licensing options are offered. More information at www.bigworldtech.com
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