THE STARTING LINEUP

Founded in 2018 by industry veterans Jon Middleton and Pete Wanat, Nifty Games is hard at work building the next generation of head to head quick session mobile games.

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JON MIDDLETON

Chief Executive Officer

Mr. Middleton is a career entrepreneur, and former founder of Eight Cylinders, a game developer acquired by On2.com and subsequently Google. Also, a co-founder of Massive, acquired by Microsoft and of Boom Music, acquired by LiveGamer. Mr. Middleton has held executive roles in comics (Madefire), game publishing (Pulse Entertainment) and game hardware (Mad Catz) over a career spanning 20+ years.
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Pete Wanat

Chief CREATIVE Officer

Mr. Wanat is a 20+ year industry veteran and creative leader, integrating sports & entertainment IP’s into games throughout the evolution of console, PC and mobile F2P games. As former VP of Production for Universal Games division he delivered the 5th most downloaded game of all time Despicable Me: Minion Rush, and top ten grossing games surrounding major brands such as Jurassic Park. 

Dan Wasson

VP OF PRODUCTION AND OPS

Mr. Wasson joins Nifty Games with over 25 years in leadership roles at Electronic Arts, LucasArts, Kabam, and Wargaming. He has shipped dozens of AAA and free-to-play games in his career, with expertise building teams and managing publishing and development around the globe.

TOM SHOENHAIR

VP of PRODUCT

With over 25 years leading game development teams and companies, Mr. Shoenhair has held senior roles with Zynga and WB Games, and was a founding member of Page 44. Mr. Shoenhair has a proven track record of delivering profitable franchises in highly competitive markets.

Ibs Rageh

VP OF ENGINEERING

Mr. Rageh started in QA in 2003 with Electronic Arts and has worked his way up to Engineering Leadership via stints at Page 44, Zynga, and WB Games over his 16+ years in the industry. He brings a pragmatic, collaborative, and iterative approach to leading internal and external development teams in creating fun, intuitive games with a player-first focus.

JASON COVEY

CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER

Mr. Covey brings years of experience building powerhouse creative teams for iconic brands. Prior roles include leading efforts to build Fox Interactive Media as a premier publisher of mobile content for brands such as Fox Sports and IGN. He also led THQ Inc.’s mobile marketing team to establish a mobile game presence for the NHL, MLB, NBA, and the NFL.

DAVID MICHICICH

GENERAL MANAGER - CHICAGO

Mr. Michicich joins Nifty Games as an industry veteran with over 26 years of leadership experience. He co-founded sports game developer Robomodo and Studio Gigante, and has held key roles at Electronic Arts, Reliance Entertainment, and Midway Games, including Fight Night, Tony Hawk, WWE Mayhem, Wrestlemania XXI and Mortal Kombat.

WILLIAM SCHMITT

GENERAL MANAGER - NFL

Mr. Schmitt brings a 26+ year proven track record of creating hit franchises to Nifty Games. Throughout his career he has held key roles at Electronic Arts, Activision, THQ, Disney and most recently Scopely, where he launched and then managed a top 100 free-to-play mobile game for more than 3 years.

JOHNSON LEE

DIRECTOR OF STUDIO OPS

Mr. Lee is a 18+ year industry veteran with expertise in building world class internal teams and scaling external partners, and former head of QA for Warner Brothers, Age of Learning, and RockYou. A strong advocate for quality and efficiency, Mr. Lee has helped launch title such as The Sims 2, SimCity 4, and Harry Potter Wizards Unite. 

JOnathan Bach

HEAD OF CENTRAL PRODUCT

Mr. Bach brings over 20 years of experience leading development teams, running Product and launching titles for interactive entertainment companies including Zynga, Electronic Arts, Gazillion Entertainment, and Leapfrog. Most recently he was head of product at Baobab studios where he brought Emmy Award-winning VR experiences to market. 

ARTHUR KLEIN

ART DIRECTOR

Mr. Klein is a games art veteran who has led internal and external art teams to produce high quality game visuals for multiple genres and platforms. Arthur is proud to have worked on compelling games at global studios including Facebook VR, Electronic Arts, and Page 44.

DANIEL KIM

HEAD OF BI AND ANALYTICS

With more than a decade of analytic experience in tech, Mr. Kim has built analytic systems from the ground up ranging from data ingestion to predictive models. While at Blast, he helped to create machine learning systems to help optimize user behavior and create personalized experiences.  

DAVID PRICE

SENIOR PRODUCER

With more than a decade of production experience in the games industry, Mr. Price has amassed over 1 billion downloads across titles on mobile, console and PC. From Minion Rush to Jurassic World, David has helped to refine the gaming identity for major entertainment brands.

MICHAEL CUCULICH

HEAD OF USER ACQUISITION

Mr. Cuculich is an accomplished, versatile performance marketer with over a decade of experience that brings a results-oriented mindset, fueled by an analytical, data-driven perspective and sharp creative sensibility.  He most recently built and led the performance marketing team at Clutter, and drove user acquisition prior to that at PlayQ.

JOHN CALCAGNO

TECHNICAL ART DIRECTOR

In a career spanning 20+ years of console and mobile game development, Mr. Calcagno has provided artistic and technical leadership for hit titles to internal and external development teams. He has shipped numerous games including NBA Live, NBA Street, Fight Night, Tony Hawk, and WWE Mayhem.

ERIC WACKERFUSS

LEAD DESIGNER

Mr. Wackerfuss got his start at Midway Chicago, and has shipped titles including Mortal Kombat, Stranglehold, and Tony Hawk. With 18+ years of industry experience, he uses his extensive knowledge of feature/system design, documentation, and production, to drive content creation, iteration, & balancing.

Brian Affolter

STAFF engineer

Mr. Affolter comes to Nifty with a decade of game development experience, working as a Senior Engineer specializing in UI/UX and gameplay. He has worked on both console and mobile titles in joint efforts with Zynga, Scopely, AMC and Activision.

CHRIS CHATEL

SENIOR ANIMATOR

Mr. Chatel joins Nifty Games with over 12 years of industry experience from Activision, Scopely, and Zynga. He has contributed to multiple games on console and mobile platforms: Tony Hawk, Skateboard Slam, Snowfall, Blade Battle, and WWE Mayhem. Chris is passionate about making games, and it shows in his work.

NEETU GEORGE

SR. SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Ms. George started her games industry career with Nickelodeon's Games Engineering team. Over nearly 6 years, she has worked on various projects including build pipeline and product verification tools, experimental prototypes, and games. Before joining Nifty Games, she last worked on Nickelodeon's Play-Along video authoring tool.

ANTHONY YOUNG

SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Mr. Young comes to Nifty as a UI Engineer with over 7 years of experience across various gaming genres. An avid sports fan, he has worked with numerous brands during his time in the industry, including Marvel, Star Wars, and the US Army.

DAN SORGE

Senior Designer

Mr. Sorge brings over 14 years of experience designing in the interactive entertainment space across multiple platforms and location-based projects for SFMOMA, LeapFrog, and Anki. He draws on his diverse knowledge and a collaborative approach to create great user experiences producing feature designs and documentation.

ANDY KIM

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

Mr. Kim brings over 6 years experience in the mobile games industry, providing organized production support and leadership for multiple internal and external game teams on a global scale across various genres. He has shipped and worked on numerous brands, such as It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Family Guy, Adventure Time, and Aliens.

SOFIA MARQUEZ

COMMUNITY MANAGER

Ms. Marquez brings over a decade of experience driving strong community, social media, and player relations, including lead roles at WB Games on Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, and DC Legends. As the player advocate, she brings a superior level of commitment to growing retention and player satisfaction across every Nifty Games product.

LEO KORO

2D/UI ARTIST

Mr. Koro is a games industry veteran with over 20 years of experience, specializing in UI/UX, 2D/3D and AR. He has contributed to global titles such as Call of Duty, Tiger Woods, The Sims, Tetris and Guitar Hero Van Halen, at studios including Electronic Arts, Facebook and Activision.

Troy Saemann

ASSOCIATE Producer

Mr. Saemann began his career in the video game industry at Scopely, where he worked in the RPG space on Live Ops. With a background in law and business operations, he brings a focused and analytical perspective in support of the team's production needs.

JENNY LIN

HEAD OF MARKETING

Ms. Lin has held senior marketing and brand management positions at major entertainment and gaming companies such as Electronic Arts, Disney, and Jam City. Throughout her career she has launched console and mobile games for world-class brands including The Simpsons, Family Guy, Marvel, Disney / Pixar, and the UFC.

Tony NGUYEN

2D / UI Artist

Mr. Nguyen has been working in mobile games for 10+ years. He brings with him an expertise in concept, visual ideation, prototyping and compelling user Interface design for the casual mobile market. Cross-collaboration is his jam and he believes it's what helps developers make great games. His past stops include Zynga, Shiver Entertainment, N3TWORK, WithIn VR, and Oculus VR.

SYDNEY FOE

SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Ms. Foe joined Nifty Games in 2021 and is excited to dive head first into the game industry. After graduating with a degree in Game Design and Computer Science from Bradley University as well as an internship with Probably Monsters, she is eager to continue her growth within the game industry at Nifty Games.

EMILY SHEAFE

MARKETING ARTIST

Ms. Sheafe is a games industry veteran specializing in Marketing Art, working with internal and external teams to produce high quality Marketing and Branding visuals for multiple genres in the mobile space. She has contributed to global titles such as Clash Royale, Clash of Clans, Marvel Contest of Champions, & Star Wars: Galactic Defense.

DARREL SIN

SR SYSTEMS DESIGNER

Mr. Sin has spent 10+ years in the games industry at companies including WB Games, NCSoft, and Machine Zone. He has a passion for design and monetization and has worked on titles such as Game of War: Fire Age, Mobile Strike, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and DC Legends.

ARVEE VERAME

DEV QA LEAD

Mr. Verame brings 5+ years of QA experience, both in games and software. He started his career in games at Indigo Entertainment - Philippines working on indie titles and projects for Disney, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network. Prior to joining Nifty Games, he stood his ground as the sole QA of NeuroFlow, building the QA team and processes.

BRENDAN LE TOURNEAU

SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Mr. Le Tourneau joined Nifty Games in 2021 and is thrilled to start a career in the games industry. With a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from San Diego State University, and an internship at WB Games San Francisco, he is excited to put his knowledge to good use.

JOSH WILKIE

DIR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Mr. Wilkie joins Nifty Games with 7+ years experience in gaming and professional sports deal-making, including stops at Madefire, Athos, and Magic Leap, contributing to titles such as Overwatch and Planet of the Apes. This follows a distinguished 7-year career as a pitcher in the Washington Nationals baseball organization where he reached AAA and was a 3-time All-Star.

RAY STAKENAS

QA ANALYST

Mr. Stakenas has been working in the world of games for over a decade, having worked for Games Workshop, Square Enix, Infinity Ward, and Respawn.  Ray believes that fun should be the core of everything, and has helped shape the quality of games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019) and Apex Legends.  Ray is also a lifetime Detroit Lions fan who will never stop believing.

LIONEL RODRIGUEZ

DESIGNER

Mr. Rodríguez started his career as a Quality Analyst at Electronic Arts.  Since then, through various releases for NBA LIVE Mobile and Madden Mobile, he worked his way to become a Game Designer and joined Nifty Games in 2021. With a diverse toolset, he looks to create unique and out-of-the box designs for every project he works on.

KEVIN MESTER

DESIGNER

Mr. Mester comes to Nifty Games with a degree in game development from DePaul University and 3 years of game design experience at Reliance Entertainment. There he worked on WWE: Mayhem, designing everything from live events to new and exciting gameplay features.

Chris Acquaviva

interim cfo

Mr. Acquaviva joins Nifty with over 25 years experience leading and growing global media and entertainment, technology and telecommunication infrastructure companies. As a financial and operations executive, he led three successful growth companies to exits producing over $5B in aggregate net proceeds for shareholders.

Tiburcio De La Carcova

INTERIM CTO

Mr. De La Carcova is a serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years in the video game industry. Tiburcio has built and run companies that generated multi-million dollar revenues. He has co-founded Wanako Games, Atakama Labs, and in 2014, he started his third studio, Giant Monkey Robot.

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