Since the departure of Colin Johanson 16 months ago, ArenaNet has officially been without an official game director, with studio president Mike O’Brien filling that role. That seems to be ending next week, with the announced hiring of Ubisoft Creative Director Jason VandenBerghe.

VandenBerghe announced the hiring via a public Facebook post, saying that he’s accepted a position as “Director of Design at ArenaNet.” While that doesn’t exactly mirror Johanson’s job title, the responsibilities are likely similar, with VandenBerghe saying he’ll be “studio level, shepherding teams and growing people.” With an expansion on the way later this year or early next, he’ll have a lot of catching up to do.

In his nine years at Ubisoft, which he called “the best experience of my career,” VandenBerghe worked on such titles as For Honor, Far Cry 3, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and Red Steel 2; he previously worked at Activision and Electronic Arts (source: Gamasutra). He starts his new role on July 17.

UPDATE: While we haven’t been able to find the exact source, one Redditor appears to have a lengthy quote from Mike O’Brien, which states that he is still acting as GW2’s game director while Jason VandenBerghe will fill a different position:

“I’ve been acting as GW2 game director. Jason is joining in a different role, as our studio design director. That’s the person in charge of the design discipline, hiring and mentoring the best designers to fill each design position across the company. Jason is brilliant at this: he thinks deeply about good design and he’s a natural leader and mentor of designers. I’m excited to work with him.”

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.


  1. GW2 is a cesspool of filth especially on the NA servers. The community is utter trash and you will find yourself pulling hairs out if you try this game. sure do the free trial to see im not lying, but do not pay for it. Boycott it. It is 2017. Anything that is not a subscription mmo is simply pure shit in terms of the quality of players.

    I would recommend. Albion or FFXIV. Im going to quite the mmo genre and figure out what else to do. Maybe Netflix and chips lol . Best of Luck..

    Games I am interested in incluede Cities Skylines and I cant wait for Tropico 6

  2. MO is still game director. ¨Director of Design at ArenaNet¨ is a different position. VandenBerghe will be managing and mentoring the design team not the game as a whole.

  3. sounds great looking froward follow gw2 new direction hopefuly he gose back to more GW1 lore and bring back the game. cuz atm the game is going to hell.. but yeah i got hope yet for this one Jason VandenBerghe done allot great work! and thinck he will bring allot to tabel.

    • Umm… they have been bringing GW1 lore back into the game lol. Do you even pay attention to the story at all? If that’s your idea of hell I don’t know what you’re seeing man XD Honestly I just want you to explain how the game is going to hell.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here