The Pirate Nation Team
We’re a quickly growing crew of founders, entrepreneurs, and crypto-native tinkerers. Our team backgrounds come from leading development on major titles at Epic Games, Blizzard, Riot Games, Zynga, Disney, and Scopely on $1b+ franchises like FarmVille and Madden.
We've also worked at leading web2 companies like Google, Square, Apple, and Facebook where we've led projects that you use on a daily basis. We have deep knowledge and a proven track record of starting small and building up to something big.
We care deeply about immersing players into the Pirate Nation universe and turning them into owners. Joining the web3 space will allow us the chance to usher in a new era of gaming that pushes beyond the current limits and offerings.
Prior to founding Proof of Play, Amitt was the founder and CTO of MyMiniLife (acquired by Zynga), founder and CEO of Toro (acquired by Google), and the co-founder and CTO of Rare Bits, an NFT marketplace. While at Zynga, he co-created the game FarmVille and served as the CTO of Zynga Japan. Before his entrepreneurial work, Mahajan was an engineer at Epic Games on the Unreal Engine and Gears of War.
Prior to co-founding Proof of Play, Craig was the Art Director at FarmVille, where he created original, initial concept art and numerous in-game assets for the game. With 25 years of experience in the video game industry, Craig has shipped over 12 titles across mobile, web, console, and PC platforms.
Prior to joining Proof of Play, Matt was the Co-Founder of Big Blue Esports where he led 3,000 person events for Super Smash Bros. With over 15 years grassroots experience, Matt has also managed competition operations for Call of Duty League and scaled The Melee Games from 10 schools to 250 schools across North America and Canada. A long time competitive gamer, community & event organizer hooked by crypto in 2017. After a lifetime in grassroots, startup, and AAA-level esports, Matt is excited to go from one high-innovation industry to another.
As a serial entrepreneur, Fariz was the co-founder of Me.Me, a platform that generates 1 billion memes daily, and founder of SocialWeekend (acquired by Adknowledge) which scaled to 150M users under his leadership. He is a strong believer and investor in cryptocurrencies since 2013.
Prior to joining Proof of Play, Adam was most notably on the founding team of Cash App and the Product Lead at Square Capital. In addition to holding other leadership roles in fintech over the past decade, he is a crypto OG where he led the integration of Bitcoin payments into an Ecommerce platform in 2013 and consulted for Circle Financial Group (USDC) in 2014 on their risk & fraud strategy.
An engineer who previously worked at Apple, Google, and Facebook, his code is used by millions of people every day. Now, Neil has left his tour of the FAANG companies to sail the high seas of crypto.
Dina is an accomplished executive assistant with 20+ years of high-level administrative and business partner experience supporting CEOs and their C-suite teams. She enjoys making the lives of high-energy executives more productive and efficient. Dina has worked in big tech and early to mid stage startups and has extensive experience navigating acquisitions, mergers, and helping teams through the due diligence process.
York has worked QA on AAA console franchises such as Jak and Daxter, Uncharted, and Ratchet and Clank as well as herding cats as a Producer on Mafia Wars, FarmVille 2, DC Legends, and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Committed to shipping a quality product to players and a team of ultra-talented developers to support, he is excited to bring Pirate Nation to life for players around the world.
Darlena - Head of Product Design / Carpenter
A lifelong gamer with a builder mindset. She has a history of launching successful products at companies of all shapes and sizes and believes that blockchain can bring ownership and agency back into the hands of the rightful owners.
Andrey - Unity Engineer / Swashbuckler
Andrey is a Lead Game Engineer at Proof of Play, a company that is on a mission to shepherd gamers into Web3’s on-chain universe. Andrey is serial entrepreneur with 15+ years of experience in core games (Ghost Recon series), social games (Draw Something) and mobile ESports games (Super Senso). Before joining Proof Of Play, Andrey sold his last company to Dapper Labs and was a Lead Unity Engineer focused on bringing crypto native games to millions of people.
Matt Van - Head of Engineering / Helmsman
Matt is a core gamer and serial entrepreneur. Most recently he founded and grew Optic Power from 2 people to 300 people as a remote-first engineering company focusing on Gaming and Blockchain, before remote was cool in 2018. Before that, he was a Tech lead at Riot Games's Esports Engineering team, making games like League of Legends great for Esports.
Sam - Unity Engineer / Musiker
Sam is a long-time gamer, passionate developer and Web3 enthusiast. Sam’s been developing games professionally and as a hobby for 10 years. Prior to joining Proof of Play he was leading a game studio he founded specializing in development of Web3 games. Before that, he was the Lead Developer & Product Lead at Shoelace Learning developing and designing educational games used today by millions of students across the world.
William - Studio Head / Commodore
William is a game industry veteran with a deep understanding of what it takes to run a studio, lead a team and develop, ship and live operate games. He brings the experience and leadership forged from shipping more than 50 titles, across more than 20 platforms, over his 30 years of game making to the team.
Delan - Sr. Engineer / Cartographer
A forever gamer, creator, and student, Delan has spent years building software and leading teams in the gaming industry as technical co-founder at Juked (500 Startups), Roostr (acquired by Chartboost), and Woovit. He is excited to explore uncharted territories along the Web3 frontier and help usher gamers into a new era of democratized ownership and innovation.
Ryszard - Technical Artist
Ryszard is a technical artist and a voxel engine specialist, with over 10 years of experience in rendering pipeline development, VFX, and extended reality integrations. A Web3 enthusiast, and an entrepreneur, before joining Proof of Play Ryszard was involved with a number of gaming studios both as a creative director and a technical co-founder.
Yev - Blockchain Engineer
Yevgeniy is a blockchain engineer who began his journey in the crypto space in 2017 with his first smart contract. Since then, he has used his expertise in smart contracts to work on a variety of projects, including crypto peer-to-peer trading and interactive-NFT projects, and develop cutting-edge solutions for NFT-gaming contracts and cross-chain migrations.
Vernon - Lead Game Designer / Crow’s Nester
Vernon brings with him 18 years of game design experience and 6 years in the crypto space. He finds his greatest successes at the intersection of engineering and design and saw Proof of Play as an excellent fit. He has an impressive track record of shipping titles across PC, Console, Social, and Mobile platforms, with multiple accolades, including PC Gamer's Adventure Game of the Year and GDC's Social Network Game of the Year. He is thrilled to be able to combine his two passions of blockchain and gaming in this role.
Aaron is a creative with 18 years of experience across video games, interactive, and storytelling.With a portfolio that spans a wide range of genres and platforms, he has contributed to music games that use real instruments (Rocksmith), location-based entertainment (The VOID), narrative-driven experiences (Star Trek: Dark Remnant, Transformers: Decepticon Invasion), and even helped build a web3 franchise from the ground up (Guild of Guardians).
Ty is an award-winning visual designer who uses storytelling, art, and technology to create memorable experiences and build stronger businesses. Ty has worked alongside a wide range of organizations; anywhere from lean and innovative Web3 startups to publicly-traded, international corporations. A touring DJ in his past life, his fresh and forward thinking perspective has propelled companies to improve their public image, reach broader audiences, and positively impact more lives.
Mark - Advisor / Pirate Mystic
A game maker known for creating genre-defining franchises played by over 450 million people world-wide. Mark is a serial entrepreneur, leader behind multiple award-winning hit games, and champion for players, indie game makers and mod communities.