About Us

Founded in 2015, we're a young, dynamic and fast-paced team led by breakaway veteran talent from historic MMO's and AAA titles on numerous platforms. Since incorporation we have pioneered a revolutionary approach to MMO design and development. As an innovation-focused studio, we also work on a few smaller projects to experiment with new technologies.

What We Do

Rebooting Massively Multiplayer

We work on a number of games projects at different scales, but our primary focus is pushing the boundaries of massively multiplayer online experiences. Our progressive development methodology and team culture are about unprecedented online experiences that empower players and deliver epic emergent experiences.

Industry leading tech

We believe that being smart pays off. Our tools and systems not only improve the efficiency of our workflow, they unlock potential that has previously stunted the performance and growth of the games industry. Our passionate development team is working on technology to revolutionise multiplayer gaming.

James Thompson

James has been a successful entrepreneur and computer scientist from a young age, making his first million dollars aged 17 with his AI software for players of the MMORPG RuneScape. Before starting Automaton, he worked closely with the executive team at Jagex from 2011-2015 as principal engineer on multiple projects, and simultaneously graduated with a 1st in computer science from the University of Cambridge.

Mark Gerhard

Mark is an industry veteran who brings a wealth of executive experience to the team as our chairman. He is founder and CEO of AI, robotics and games company PlayFusion, which is pioneering mixed-reality entertainment; vice-chairman of multi-award winning non-profit trade association TIGA, which represents the UK’s games industry; and former CEO and CTO of Jagex, which he led to become the UK’s largest independent games studio until 2015.

Craig Scott

Craig has 20 years of design and production experience. He has been both Design Director and Senior Producer on CCP’s EVE Online, and led teams at Core Design, Jagex and Realtime Worlds. Craig has worked on numerous large MMO projects including Warhammer Online, RuneScape, APB, EVE and Dust 541.

Stuart Bugg

Stu is an experienced AAA developer with over 17 years industry experience. With numerous published titles ranging from handheld, home console, VR systems, and high-end PC. Before joining Automaton in 2017, he contributed as environment art director on the visually outstanding and award-winning franchises Wipeout and Killzone for Sony.

Jord Fox

Jord has worked as an engineer on James’ key projects since 2011 and now leads Automaton’s engineering team, managing technical requirements for the studio's projects. He has played a key role from the early days of the studio in building out both our team and technical infrastructure. Jord read computer science at the University of Bath.