Former games division topper to launch production company
Seamus Blackley, who helped Microsoft design and launch the first Xbox, is ankling as the head of Creative Artists Agency’s games division.Blackley plans to launch a production company to develop new games. Further details have yet to be revealed, but he is in the midst of transitioning to the new venture. The CAA Games team will be run by Ophir Lupu and David Stelzer, who already represent game designers. Group also includes Greg Essig as a games agent. Clients include gamemakers Insomniac, Ken Levine, Patrice Desilets, Will Wright’s Stupid Fan Club, Team Bondi, Thatgamecompany (behind Sony PlayStation Network titles “Flow” and “Flower”) and Respawn Entertainment, the new label from former “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” franchise heads Jason West and Vince Zampella. Blackley joined CAA in 2003, and his hiring breathed considerable life into the 3-year-old division at the time given his extensive background in the console biz that was heating up and as a game developer. Since then, he’s helped lock down lucrative deals for clients, including a groundbreaking pact for Shinji Mikami and Goichi Suda to independently finance games such as their upcoming “Shadows of the Damned” that resembles how indie films are funded. He also led the deal for “Rock Band”-developer Harmonix Music Systems’ sale to Viacom.