Ballard will be in charge of the company's broad digital distribution business as it pertains to PC, console, handheld and mobile games; online titles, including social games, owned and operated MMOs and "light persistent worlds"; and TV-delivered and on-demand streaming games. That leaves a lot to consider, but we'd be satisfied just to get a lot more Batman DLC for the next one. Make it happen, Ballard.
Additionally, the new vee-pee will oversee Turbine, creator of The Lord of the Rings Online, and has been tasked with recruiting a new GM for the studio.
Most recently, Ballard could be found in the cushy CEO chair of Transpera, a mobile video ad network. He's also held executive positions at Capcom and the now defunct Digital Pictures, developer of the famously "controversial" early '90s FMV classic, Night Trap. You know, the genre is making a comeback with iPhone ports ... Make it happen, Ballard.
FOR WARNER BROS. INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT AND WARNER BROS. DIGITAL DISTRIBUTION
BURBANK, Calif. October 4, 2010 - Greg Ballard has been named Senior Vice President, Digital Games, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, it was announced today by Thomas Gewecke, President, Warner Bros. Digital Distribution and Martin Tremblay, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
A dual report to Gewecke and Tremblay, Ballard will oversee the business and strategy aspects of the Studio's digital games business worldwide, which includes digital distribution of PC, console and handheld games, online only games (including social network games), TV-delivered games, mobile games, owned and operated MMOs, light persistent worlds, and games on demand (streaming). Additionally, Ballard will have oversight of Turbine, Inc., creator of "The Lord of the Rings Online™" and other massive, persistent online worlds. Ballard will work with Gewecke and Tremblay to recruit a new General Manager for Turbine. He will also be responsible for identifying and evaluating new business opportunities in the digital games space and will manage virtual merchandise sales as well as in-game advertising and product placement deals.
"Mobile and online games are becoming a bigger part of the overall game industry," said Tremblay. "Greg has a firm grasp on the complexities of this business from every angle and is the ideal candidate to lead our digital games efforts as we aggressively expand our presence in this growing market."
"Greg is an expert in the mobile, gaming, entertainment and multimedia industries," said Gewecke. "In today's connected world, consumers want their content on mobile, social and web platforms and Greg's expertise in these areas will be instrumental as we continue to make games more accessible across more devices and broaden our consumer base."
Most recently, Ballard served as CEO of Transpera, a leading mobile video ad network that allows mobile developers to monetize apps via interactive video ads from top brand advertisers. He is also the former president and CEO of Glu Mobile (NASDAQ: GLUU), a global publisher of mobile games, during which time he guided the company through a period of rapid growth as a private company to its public offering in 2007. Ballard's vast experience also includes service as CEO at SONICblue, makers of ReplayTV and Rio digital music players; MyFamily.com, now the public company Ancestry.com, a successful subscription-based Internet service; and 3Dfx, a graphic chipset supplier, which he also directed through its early private days to a public offering.
"It's a tremendous opportunity to join Warner Bros. Home Entertainment at this exciting time in the industry," Ballard said. "Martin and Thomas have set out a clear strategy and vision for digital games and I'm looking forward to working with them and the rest of the team to realize that vision."
Prior to Glu Mobile, Ballard served as CEO and COO for Warner Custom Music, a Division of Time Warner, Inc. He was also president of Capcom Entertainment, as well as COO and CFO of Digital Pictures, a leading video game developer. Ballard has held numerous public and private board seats and currently sits on the board of directors for DTS, Inc (NASDAQ: DTSI) and is Chairman of the Board at Transpera Inc. He holds a B.A. from the University of Redlands and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
About Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group (WBHEG) brings together Warner Bros. Entertainment's home video, digital distribution, interactive entertainment, technical operations and anti-piracy businesses in order to maximize current and next-generation distribution scenarios. An industry leader since its inception, WBHEG oversees the global distribution of content through packaged goods (Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD) and digital media in the form of electronic sell-through and video-on-demand via cable, satellite, online and mobile channels, and is a significant developer and publisher for console and online video game titles worldwide. WBHEG distributes its product through third party retail partners and licensees, as well as directly to consumers through WBShop.com.