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Square Enix boss Karl Stewart quits the Tomb Raider studio

VP of strategic marketing Karl Stewart leaves company to join advertising firm.


Square Enix vice president of strategic marketing Karl Stewart has left the Tomb Raider studio after eight years with the company. He announced the news on his Tumblr today. His last day is today.

Stewart with film director Quentin Tarantino
Stewart with film director Quentin Tarantino

Stewart will join Petrol Advertising where he'll work as VP of Brand Development and Strategic Partnerships. Some of Petrol's clients include Activision, Electronic Arts, and 2K.

Stewart began his career at Square Enix as a creative director at Eidos in 2006. He became global brand manager for Crystal Dynamics in October 2009 and was promoted to VP of strategic marketing at Square Enix in April 2013.

During his tenure at Square Enix, Stewart worked on more than 25 games, from franchises like Tomb Raider, Hitman, Kane & Lynch, Thief, Deus Ex, and Batman: Arkham Asylum. Stewart said the "crowning glory" of his time at Square Enix was the time he spent working on the Tomb Raider reboot, which launched in March 2013.

"A large part of my life went into that reboot and I thoroughly believe that Crystal Dynamics has created one of the most memorable, if not the biggest, reboot in video game history," Stewart said.

Stewart's departure from Square Enix doesn't mean the company is in trouble, he said.

"Square Enix is an amazing company, whether you work for one of its studios or publishing arms, or if you’re thinking of joining, this company has given me the opportunity to grow and do what I love to do best, work in creative and ridiculously talented company at the heart of the video game industry," Stewart said. "The potential for opportunity and growth at Square Enix is limitless."

Stewart is not the only game industry executive to quit his company this month. In the span of the past two weeks, SCEA CEO Jack Tretton and Xbox boss Marc Whitten both quit their companies.

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