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Microsoft NERD exec Walter Somol heads to social game developer Stomp Games

Posted by Scott Kirsner  January 2, 2013 07:36 AM

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Walter Somol couldn't stay away from the video game business for very long: after just about a year-and-a-half as Microsoft's community liaison at its New England R&D center, he's starting a new role this week at Stomp Games, the Concord-based development studio that makes the Facebook game Robot Rising. Somol had previously spent five years helping manage Microsoft's relationships with game developers for the Xbox platform, and before that he worked at Atari and a law firm that represented game developers.

Somol will serve as director of marketing and business development at Stomp. "Iím really excited about this opportunity," Somol writes via e-mail. "I think the team is fantastic and has very deep experience in making high-quality games. Weíre all excited to be in the online/free to play space. I think thatís where we will see the most growth and innovation in the near-term."

Somol's new colleagues at Stomp have worked on games like Age of Empires, NASCAR Racing, Titan Quest, Dawn of War, and Madden NFL.

robotrising.pngFormed in 2012, Stomp is owned by Tencent Inc., one of China's most popular Internet portals. (The studio is also known as Tencent Boston.) Robot Rising, a futuristic role-playing game, is its first project. Stomp was one of several Boston-area game studios to lay off some of its staff last year.

Unclear at this point who will replace Somol at Microsoft NERD...

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About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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