OpenFeint Hires Former Glu Executive, Sarah Thomson, as Director of Developer Relations

By Azam Khan 

Mobile social gaming network OpenFeint has just appointed Sarah Thomson, a former Glu Mobile and IUGO executive, as its Director of Developer Relations. Thomson is a heavy hitter in the mobile gaming world. As such, OpenFeint hopes to utilize her insight and deep connections to continue building its relationships with both traditional and free-to-play developers. More after the jump.

Thomson joins the OpenFeint team after a short stint as Glu Mobile’s Director of Business Development. She led Glu’s expansion with gPartners, a network of alliances with global independent mobile and social game developers. Glu, however, decided to halt the gPartners expansion, letting several executives (including her) go following the acquisitions of Blammo Games and Griptonite Games.

“OpenFeint is going through an exciting phase of growth right now and Sarah is exactly the kind of person we need to keep up the momentum,” said Eros Resmini, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Developer Relations. “Sarah’s deep history in mobile gaming paired with her connections to the developer community made her a great fit for OpenFeint.”

Prior to working at Glu, Thomson began her gaming career in 2007 as Vice President of Business Development for IUGO Mobile Entertainment. Her strong belief in innovation and commitment to bringing quality to mobile games played a crucial role in transforming the company from a small, work for hire developer, to a reputable developer of both original IP and AAA titles. Some of the most notably successful titles that she led development on, include Toy Bot Diaries, Zombie Attack!, Implode XL and Lil’ Pirates.

“I’ve always admired OpenFeint for its constant innovation in the mobile gaming space,” said Thomson. “As the company continues to change with the market, I’m excited to help OpenFeint continue growing.”

In a 2010 interview, Thomson explained how she wanted to move (IUGO) full-fledged into the social gaming space. Now, a year later, it is clear that mobile social games have become an increasingly large portion of mobile gaming revenue. With the addition of Thomson’s insight, I expect we will start to see OpenFeint acquiring more and more independent social game developers.

The hire adds to OpenFeint’s abrupt reorganization that saw CEO and co-founder Jason Citron resigning and being replaced by GREE’s CFO Naoki Aoyagi. Also, ex-Playdom executive Ethan Fassett was also appointed as Senior Vice President of Product in July while Tina Tran left to FunSockets.