READY AT DAWN® APPOINTS PAUL SAMS AS CEO06/08/15 by Ready At Dawn Studios
Longtime Blizzard Entertainment® COO joins Ready At Dawn;
Company expands business operations to Austin, Texas
IRVINE, California – June 8, 2015 – Ready At Dawn, an internationally acclaimed independent
video game developer, announced today the strategic hire of Blizzard Entertainment’s COO, Paul
Sams, as Chief Executive Officer. Effective immediately, Sams will direct the company’s
business operations and global growth initiatives. Ru Weerasuriya, Ready At Dawn’s co-Founder
and current CEO, will now serve as President and Chief Creative Officer. Additionally, the
company has expanded its operations to include a business hub in Austin, Texas.
“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” said Ru Weerasuriya.
“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.”
For the past 20 years, Sams served in key executive roles at Blizzard Entertainment, most
recently working as the company’s Chief Operating Officer for the past decade. During his tenure,
Sams played a key role in guiding the company from less than 50 employees to over 4,000 and to
grow company value well in excess of $5 billion.
Over the last decade while Paul served as the company’s COO, he was responsible for all global
functions outside of game and platform development. Paul played a key role in the launch and/or
brand building of all of Blizzard’s key franchises including, World of Warcraft®, Diablo®, Warcraft®,
StarCraft®, Battle.net®, HearthstoneTM, Heroes of the StormTM and OverwatchTM.
He was instrumental in helping to lead the company through its most rapid period of growth after
the launch of World of Warcraft®, which has grown to be one of the most successful entertainment
franchises in history.
“Ready at Dawn is one of the best pure game developers in the industry. 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,” said Sams. “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.”
Paul serves on the executive board of the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy at the University of
Texas at Austin. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Economics from the University of
California, Santa Barbara.