Jeff Karp to lead Aristocrat social gaming biz

Big Fish Games, the social gaming arm of Aristocrat, has announced the appointment of experienced video game executive Jeff Karp.

Mr. Karp has more than 15 years in senior executive roles with leading video game companies including Electronic Arts, Zynga and GSN Games.

He was instrumental in building multi-billion-dollar franchise games, including EA SPORTS, Words With Friends, Farmville, The Sims franchise, Bingo Bash, GSN Casino, and many more.

Most recently, Jeff was the chief executive officer of Sports Illustrated Play, a youth sports focused digital platform that was acquired by Comcast/NBC earlier this year. At Sports Illustrated Play, Jeff built youth-sports platforms that supported more than 17 million monthly users.

Mr. Karp joins Big Fish as its managing director and president, and will oversee Big Fish and its growth as a leading company in the games industry. Big Fish’s current portfolio of games is played by millions around the world and led by chart-topping franchises, such as Big Fish Casino,Cooking Craze, Gummy Drop, Fairway Solitaire and Jackpot Magic Slots.

Jeff Goldstein, Aristocrat chief digital officer/chief strategy officer said: “I am delighted to welcome Jeff Karp to Big Fish. Jeff’s expertise in growing games into global entertainment franchises is unsurpassed. His proven track record and deep experience in the games industry make him the ideal person to drive Big Fish’s growth strategy, and ensure the business delivers its full potential.”

Mr. Karp said: “I am honored to be working with such a creative and talented group, who are focused on enhancing life through exceptional play.  Big Fish is a content-rich company and its employees are passionate about making great games that bring joy and fun to millions of players around the world. I look forward to working with everyone at Big Fish to deliver our growth plans for the benefit of our players, our people and all our stakeholders.”