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FuturLab Founder, James Marsden, retires after 20 years

After 20 years, FuturLab’s founder, James Marsden, has decided to retire from his role to focus on his passion for music. Kirsty Rigden will be taking the reigns as CEO, after formally sharing the role of Co-CEO with James. Announced in a gi.biz article earlier today, we’d like to share this statement from James about his time at FuturLab and decision to retire: 

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20 years is a nice round number 

I am retiring from my role at FuturLab to focus on music.  

An industry friend Joel Benton once told me: “in order to succeed in video games, you need to stay in business long enough to get lucky.”  

Over the last 20 years I’ve lived the bonafide indie game experience. From humble beginnings with its first employee working from my graduate flat-share bedroom, through countless near breaking point moments along the way, FuturLab managed to stay in business long enough to get lucky.  

The studio has now grown to over 100 professional game developers with multiple projects underway and a commercial hit that reaches many new players every day. 

I’m privileged and grateful to have taken this journey, but the time has come for me to attend to a passion that I’ve necessarily had to sacrifice during this time.  

The truth is that I founded FuturLab with the specific goal of making music for games, and whilst FuturLab could now be fairly described as a leading UK independent game studio – an accomplishment I’m incredibly proud of sharing with Kirsty and the team – it’s not my true passion.  

With over 100 people, FuturLab is now serious business, and needs an authentic leader whose true passion is unquestionably games. That’s Kirsty. 

I will stay on the board as Founding Chairman, so will be very excited to witness Kirsty, Chris and the excellent management team lead FuturLab to even greater heights.  

For anyone interested, you’ll get to hear music that I’m making for FuturLab’s stunning new game ‘IKARO Will Not Die’ soon enough, but until then, I’m earnestly focusing on my craft and new career goals.  

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Whilst I have this moment, I would like to thank Shahid Ahmad and Agostino Simonetta for giving FuturLab its most significant opportunities to advance in the early days. Many people have played a part in helping FuturLab to succeed, but I remain firmly indebted to you both. Thank you.

Throughout the past two decades, James’ influence has touched every part of the studio – from our culture built around skill, humility and kindness, to our games themselves. James had a huge hand in creating the music within the Velocity franchise, some of FuturLab’s most well-loved titles which were heralded for their cool sound, so we’re excited to see what comes next. We’d like to thank James for the hard work, dedication and unwavering vision that has made FuturLab into the studio it is today. 

Kirsty commented: “We’re all very happy that James is following his passion for music production and taking a huge step towards achieving his dreams. 
 
“I’m personally excited about FuturLab’s future; it’s a new chapter for both FuturLab and myself.”