Veteran industry executive Paul Sams has joined Certain Affinity as the studio’s president and chief operating officer.
Sams previously spent 20 years at Blizzard, where he held multiple roles including COO, and more recently he was CEO at The Order: 1886 and Lone Echo studio Ready at Dawn.
Based in Austin, Texas, Certain Infinity is a prolific support studio founded in 2006 by CEO Max Hoberman, who was formerly multiplayer and online lead at Bungie.
Halo Infinite | Update – September 2022
It has collaborated on over 30 products and across more than a dozen franchises, including instalments in the Halo and Call of Duty series, as well as Left 4 Dead and Doom.
Sams, who has operated as Certain Affinity’s lead strategic advisor for the past three years, will now be charged with spearheading the company’s mission to become a premier lead developer.
“I am blown away by what CA has accomplished over the years,” he said. “When I first saw their portfolio of releases I was amazed, and it has only gotten stronger since, including on games the world hasn’t yet seen.
“I am excited to bring my years of proven experience growing companies, building beloved franchises, and deeply supporting developers to CA to ensure that their best work is yet to come.”
Certain Affinity CEO Hoberman said: “My proudest accomplishment is the value-led, inclusive, and quality focused culture that we’ve built at CA. Bringing Paul on board full-time will allow us to continue to nurture and grow these qualities, scale our business to support our game development aspirations, and frees me up to focus primarily on game development.
“It’s been many years since I’ve had the luxury of having my focus primarily targeted at making games, but I’m seriously looking forward to applying the proven skills I have as a developer and a leader to the amazingly talented group we’ve assembled at the company.
“I am excited to partner with Paul and our key leaders to guide our company’s evolution to being both a world-class co-developer and a world-class lead developer—and ultimately to Certain Affinity becoming a household name.”
Last year Certain Affinity said it had signed an agreement to lead development on an original IP which Hoberman called its “most ambitious title to date”.
More recently, the company said it had taken on additional Halo Infinite development duties. The studio has been collaborating on the game with Xbox since 2019.