MSM grabs key talent in competition quest

Published at Mar 16, 2016, in Technology

MSM Corporation (ASX:MSM) has bagged key technical talent as it gets ready for the launch of its first Megastar Millionaire competition at the end of the year.

The five new hires have cumulative experience of more than 38 years of technical, social, and mobile development – and effectively doubles MSM’s technical team.

The hires run the full gamut from game design, user experience, mobile platform development, front end engineering and quality assurance.

They hail from companies such as AOL, Disney Games, Sony Games, and gaming success story Zynga.

The new hires come as MSM is smack-bang in the middle of product development and customer acquisition, and the previous experience of the hires will help in that.

MSM managing director Dion Sullivan said the new talent would help mould the Megastar Millionaire experience.

“Megastar Millionaire is, first and foremost, a consumer digital entertainment technology and through our strengthened technical team, we can ensure that our users, whether they are first time users or experienced, are continually engaged and delighted,” Sullivan said.

So who are the new people?

Igor Ginzburg, User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) Director:

Ginzburg has a decade worth of Interactive Design Media expertise. He has worked with US and Israeli based companies, including AOL, Finotec, Qwiji and GroupOn.

Mitch Zamara, Lead Game Designer:

Zamara has been a social/mobile game designer for seven years, working on innovative and engaging social/mobile games for companies such as NetEase and Zynga.

His biggest title to date was CityVille – became (at the time) the biggest Facebook game ever. 100m Monthly Average Users (MAUs), 20m DAUs.

Jordan Lee, Senior Mobile Developer:

Lee has been developing in the mobile space since 2006. He has developed for a number of multi-national mobile gaming companies, most recently the Korean Gaming Development company, NEXON.

His titles included; Dominations (1.5m DAUs) and Millionaire City (2m DAUs). Mr. Lee has been involved in all aspects of mobile technology development; from architecture to deployment.

Dwayne Beck, Global Quality Assurance/Systems Senior Manager:

Beck has held positions with major mobile gaming and entertainment companies including; Disney Games, Booyah! and Nexon Mobile. Mr. Beck has run Quality Assurance oversight both in the US and Korea.

Beck was QA lead on Dominations (1.5m DAUs) and Mobsters 2; Vendetta (560k DAUs).

Jay Friedman, Senior Web Developer

Friedman has been a front end engineer for more than fifteen years, in the Silicon Valley. Mr. Friedman will be responsible, in part, for the “look and feel” (operationally) of Megastar Millionaire, as well as the maintenance and performance of www.msmci.com and www.megastarmillionaire.com.

Friedman has significant user interface engineering experience in roles for: SONY Games, Electronic Arts, VISA/Playspan and Google, as one of the engineers that helped develop Google Voice

So what’s Megastar Millionaire?

At its core, Megastar Millionaire is being pitched as an online-only video-based talent competition where the winner walks away with $1 million.

It is seeking to capitalise on the popularity of TV talent shows such as the X Factor and The Voice – but integrating online gaming and social media as part of the user experience.

MSM’s ambition is to reach and surpass existing talent-search variants that do not take advantage of the surge in online participation. American Idol is exclusively broadcast to TV viewers in the US, and is currently valued at US$2.5 billion (A$3.6 billion).

Further exacerbating MSM’s optimism is the fact that TV viewership is declining worldwide, especially amongst 18-24 year olds that are the quickest to embrace online alternatives.

It has also inked strategic partnerships with a raft of other companies such as ToneDen, ROAR LLC, and Digital Riot Media LLC.

It confirmed today that the first competition is set to run in the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter next year.

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