Video game industry veteran Chris van der Kuyl, co-founder of 4J Studios – the Scottish firm that brought Minecraft to the world’s consoles – was today named as chairman of developer Team17.
The move comes after van der Kuyl and fellow 4J founder Paddy Burns took a minority stake in the West Yorkshire games company, which is backed by private equity firm LDC and is best known for creating the Worms franchise.
LDC, part of Lloyds Banking Group, has injected £16.5 million into the business, which was founded in 1990 and is headed by chief executive Debbie Bestwick.
“It’s an honour to be able to invest in and play a part in the Team17 story,” said van der Kuyl, who also chairs Entrepreneurial Scotland and serves on the advisory board of Informatics Ventures.
“Debbie and her team represent a pillar of the British games industry and I can’t wait to see where this new and exciting chapter takes the company.”
Bestwick, who was this year awarded an MBE for services to the video game industry, added: “I’ve known Chris for a few decades and this is the perfect time for us to start working together to take Team17 to the next stage of growth. Next year is going to be one the most exciting times for the company and for all our label partners.”
Minecraft was launched for the PC in 2009 by its Swedish creator, Mojang – acquired by Microsoft for $2.5 billion (£1.9bn) two years ago. 4J Studios, which has offices in Dundee and East Lothian, developed best-selling versions of the title for Microsoft’s Xbox consoles and rival devices from Sony and Nintendo.