Two of British gaming's most successful developers are set to work together again for the first time in more than 20 years.
Jason Falcus is joining mobile phone development company Kwalee which was set up by David Darling, co-founder of Codemasters, one of the UK's largest games publishers.
Falcus will become Kwalee's chief operating officer and he will help to run the company's expanding operations.
Kwalee was founded by Darling in Leamington Spa in 2011 to make games for Apple's iOS devices. It currently employs 20 staff and, in 2012, it was named in the Startups 100 awards as one of the UK's most innovative new companies.
"I’ve known Jason for 26 years, and we have worked together on many games for Codemasters,” says Darling. “He started programming at a very young age and since then he has completed more than 20 games and founded and managed several development studios including Atomic Planet Entertainment and Optimus Software which he sold to Iguana/Acclaim. He is used to managing large teams of 75 staff."
Falcus began programming in 1981 and he had his first game published, along with his brother Darren, at the age of 13 on the Dragon 32 computer. He has since become a successful coder and studio manager, working with Sony, Codemasters, Capcom, Take2, Bethesda, Team 17 and Atari.
He programmed the SNES versions of NBA Jam and NBA Jam TE, a series which went on to sell more than six million copies. More recently he has managed mobile projects such as Worms 2.
"I'm really excited about joining the Kwalee team, and working closely with David Darling again. David has an amazing talent for creating successful studios, and his team have produced a fantastic portfolio of new mobile games. I'm looking forward to combining our skills and experience, and helping them to achieve the commercial success they deserve."
Darling began programming games at the age of 11. He formed Galactic Software in 1982 when he was 16-years-old and he went on to found Codemasters in 1986 with his brother Richard and father Jim. The company became famous for its low-priced titles for the Spectrum, Commodore and Amstrad CPC which included BMX Simulator.
Codemasters also helped other programmers get their first foot on the gaming ladder and the company is said to be responsible for the large number of videogame developers based around Leamington Spa which include Radiant Worlds, Full Fat, Playground Games, Supersonic Software and DNA Interactive. The town is colloquially known as Silicon Spa.
Darling sold his stake in the Codemasters in 2007 and a year later he was made a CBE for services to the computer games industry.