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The Order: 1886 studio Ready At Dawn hires Blizzard's COO, expands its business

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Ready At Dawn, the Irvine, California-based developer behind The Order: 1886 and multiple God of War games, has a new CEO. The company announced today the hiring of Blizzard chief operating officer Paul Sams and an expansion of its operations to Austin, Texas.

The developer said it's also working to find a partner that will allow it to own the properties it creates, both in games and beyond.

While Sams will oversee the studio's business operations, Ru Weerasuriya, Ready At Dawn co-founder and the developer's previous CEO, will now serve as president and chief creative officer.

Paul Sams

"It is never easy finding someone to take over the reins of a company after this many years, but I cannot think of anyone better suited to guide the team as we look to the future. He is one of the most accomplished, respected and experienced leaders in our industry," Weerasuriya said in a statement. "With Paul's arrival, our studio in Irvine will turn its attention solely to creative and game development, while Austin will become the focus of our business endeavors. Paul's expertise and industry knowledge positions us well to reach our company goals, including securing a strategic partner which will allow us to retain ownership of the transmedia IPs that we create."

Sams is a nearly 20-year veteran of Blizzard Entertainment. He joined the company in 1996.

"Ready at Dawn is one of the best pure game developers in the industry," Sams said in a statement. "After 12 years, they remain an independent developer true to their craft of creating gameplay in unique and immersive worlds filled with engaging characters and experiences. Much like when I joined Blizzard, my role is to create an environment in which our talented team can focus on making games without the business constraints and limitations that can hamper the creative process."

For more on Ready At Dawn's most recent effort, The Order: 1886 for PlayStation 4, read Polygon's review.