Xsolla Interim CEO Talks Growth, Future Goals

Xsolla Interim CEO Talks Growth, Future Goals

Video game commerce company Xsolla has made a name for itself in the gaming industry with a suite of products that help developers market, distribute and monetize content, which are used by clients like Twitch, Ubisoft, Epic Games Inc. and Valve Corp. In May, the Sherman Oaks-based company welcomed a new interim chief executive, Chris Hewish, who previously served as president of Xsolla for more than three years.

Since Hewish’s appointment, Xsolla has partnered with marketing agency YouAppi Inc. and completed an acquisition of Playa Vista-based multiplayer gaming platform AcceleratXR Inc., as well as of content creation and distribution studios Lightstream, Rainmaker and Api.Stream.

Before starting at Xsolla in 2020, Hewish held leadership roles at Glendale-based DreamWorks Animation LLC, Marina del Rey-based game studio Survios Inc. and Santa Monica-based Skydance Productions LLC. He said, as a lifelong gamer, he was originally attracted to Xsolla by its mission to empower game developers and streamline game distribution and monetization, which coincides with his own vision of “enhancing the game creation and distribution process.”

Since stepping into the role of interim chief executive this year, have you led any specific decisions and acquisitions that you think changed the trajectory of the company or its growth?

As interim chief executive, I have steered Xsolla towards several key decisions and acquisitions that have significantly influenced our company’s trajectory and growth. These strategic moves have been focused on expanding our capabilities, enhancing our platform’s user experience and ensuring our services remain at the forefront of the industry. The decisions and acquisitions made under my leadership have been pivotal in positioning Xsolla as a service provider and a comprehensive partner for game developers and publishers, fostering their growth in an increasingly digital and global market.

Xsolla has quite the “everything under one roof” approach to its platform. Does this ever pose challenges for company organization?

The comprehensive ‘everything under one roof’ approach does pose organizational challenges, particularly in ensuring seamless integration and maintaining high standards across varied services. However, Xsolla’s company and platform acquisitions have been critical in overcoming these challenges. Each acquisition has been strategically chosen to enhance our platform’s capabilities, enabling us to offer our partners a more integrated and robust solution. This strategy ensures that we can cater to every need of game developers, from the initial stages of creation to the complexities of global distribution and monetization.

Do you have any specific goals for yourself or the company while you serve as CEO?

My tenure as Interim CEO is focused on several key goals. These include driving innovation within our service offerings, expanding our global reach, and fostering a culture of excellence within the organization. I am committed to ensuring that Xsolla continues to grow and remains a pivotal force in empowering developers and publishers in a rapidly evolving digital landscape. My vision is to position Xsolla as an indispensable partner in the gaming industry that consistently adds value and drives success for its partners.

As a lifelong gamer yourself, do you think Xsolla supports gamers or advances their ability to interact with games?

As a lifelong gamer, I am convinced that Xsolla is crucial in supporting gamers and enhancing their ability to interact with games. Our focus on empowering developers directly translates into more affluent, more engaging gaming experiences for players. We indirectly enhance the gaming community by providing developers with the tools and services needed to create, launch and monetize their games effectively. This, in turn, fosters more profound connections between gamers and their favorite games, contributing to the overall growth and vibrancy of the gaming ecosystem.

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