Red 5 Studios ousts CEO

Red 5 Studios ousts CEO
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

January 2nd 2014 at 11:45AM

VP of development James Macauley assumes role as acting chief executive

The CEO of Firefall developer Red 5 Studios Mark Kern has been ousted from his position by the company's board of directors and has left the studio.

In a statement to Game Front, Red 5 producer Matt DeWald revealed that VP of development James Macauley was now serving as acting CEO.

Kern, who took to Reddit to partly explain what happened, also clarified that while he had been stripped of his position of CEO from the company, he didn't leave the firm until last week when he resigned.

“As of Thursday, December 19th, Mark Kern is no longer the Chief Executive Officer of Red 5 Studios," he said.

"Mark founded Red 5 Studios in 2006 to provide exceptional game entertainment along with a world-class team of developers working on the MMO Shooter, Firefall. Red 5 Vice President of Development, James Macauley, will be moving into the role of acting CEO. The team at Red 5 continues work on Firefall and looks forward to all that we have to offer in 2014.”

A memo believed to have been sent around the company by Macauley following Kern's removal said the former CEO would "no longer have any authority to act for or on behalf of Red 5 Studios", and thanked him for his work.

"This is a major change to our company. Your managers and I will set to work to cover any and all areas that Mark was directly handling and we are continuing to solidify the plan for 2014. I assure you that we are and will continue to be here to serve and support each of you," read the memo.

In September the company, which has offices in the US and Ireland, laid of ten per cent of its workforce as the developer appears to be backing away from its eSports.

Kern explained on Reddit this week that PvP hadn't worked for the studio's flagship MMO Firefall, and admitted he took some of the blame for the decision to chase the eSports scene.

"I think the eSports thing was one of my mistakes," he said.

"I really wanted to focus on Firefall as a PvP game first, and then do PvE, but it was clear that players were only sticking around for PvE in any great numbers. All this info has been posted before, so sorry I don't have any new insights to share.

"PvP needs to be a part of Firefall, but my original vision for it was much more Battlefield like with vehicles and less the eSports thing. eSports, I thought, would be easier to implement. I was wrong."