After 28 years, the CEO of Frontier Developments, David Braben has stepped down from his position as CEO. Instead, he will now be occupying the position of President and Founder. During this time, CCO, Jonny Watts will be moving into the Chief Executive position.
Despite no longer being the CEO, Frontier Developments still believes that David Braben will still play a major role in the company and will control over many aspects of frontier developments.
In a press release (via GI.biz), frontier states that Brabin’s new role will see him “retain his leadership and vision for frontier strategic direction, whilst maintaining and building key relationships within the games industry and the wider digital entertainment sector.”
Frontier Developments was founded in 1994 with Braben at the top of the company since then. This is truly the end of an era, because if you’ve ever played a space simulator, you could think David Braben for the creation of such a game. His work goes back to 1984, when he was the co-creator of the space simulator game Elite, a game of which all others have been built upon since that day.
It is not an exaggeration that he is one of the old guards both in space simulators, but also video game development in general. Much the same way that RPG games can be attributed to Ultima and Lord British, the same can be said about Elite and space simulators. Elite Dangerous, 30 years later, has carried on that legacy well.
It appears that Frontier Developments is going to be in good hands though, because Jonny Watts has been with the company for 20 years already and had served as the CCO since 2012. During his time as CCO, he can be directly attributed to much of Frontier Developments economic successes, including a record-breaking $140 million dollars in profit during the 2022 fiscal year.