Today, CMON Limited announced the hiring of award-winning game designer Eric M. Lang as Director of Game Design, effective April 1. Lang will lead the development team and continue to design new games for CMON. ICv2 spoke with Lang and CMON Marketing Manager Jared Miller to learn more.

Lang’s position with CMON is full-time and exclusive. After so many years as a freelancer, he explained why he chose to go in-house now. “I've been working with CMON for the last three and a half to four years. I have a good relationship with a lot of publishers, but the teams that I've been working with here, our relationship has just gotten so solid that I've already felt like an employee,” he told ICv2.

“It's been so natural. My taste in games and CMON's taste in games are basically the same. I've been wanting for many years to get deeper into the game design, getting into publishing, even working on other people's games, working with a really, really strong team, developing a really strong culture.“

“It felt like a really cool endgame for me.”

Since CMON is a virtual company, Lang will be relocating to the Singapore office to work with two directors there, as well as a small team of his own. He will also work with the development team in Brazil. He will continue to produce his own game designs as well as work with people on other games. “One of the things I've been wanting to do for the last many years is slow down. Since I've been doing a lot of releases, I've been wanting to slow down, …get deeper into every release,” he said.

“That just takes time. This affords me the ability to really hunker down on the games that I'd want to make absolutely most, do a couple releases a year at most, and then work with people on other games for the other part of the time.”

Lang will work on both existing CMON properties as well as continuing to produce new IPs for the company. “I've got some in the hopper right now, which unfortunately, I can't talk much about, because they're far in the future. I'll be doing a bunch of original stuff, like I've been doing for the last three years with CMON,” he said. “We'll definitely be also working with licenses, like with Bloodborne and Godfather. There will be more of that in the future, of course.”

The designer has a passion for making the hobby industry more inclusive and accessible. At the recent Game Developers Conference, he Tweeted offering free mentoring advice for women and minorities interested in game design as a career path. “One of the things I want to do with the industry, and one of the reasons I'm happy to work with a company like CMON, that's really progressive in this area, is that I'm very passionate about making teams more inclusive, broad, and accessible for all parts of the market.”

“There are a lot of people that play games, but there's not a great population of people who play games as a hobby,” he continued.

“A lot of the games that are released right now are pretty intimidating. They're these awesome, big box hobby games. They have a lot of depth, and they provide infinite value.  (But moving forward) We're making our games a little simpler, a little cleaner, more representative, more inclusive. To be honest, this is a learning process for all of us. It's a very, very new topic, and we're all learning how to get better at it, myself included. It is a high priority for me.”

Lang is an industry veteran who has been creating tabletop games for more than 20 years. He has worked with Wizards of the Coast, WizKids, and Fantasy Flight Games. He has designed games based on Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Warhammer, Marvel and DC comics.  He has design credits on Blood Rage, Arcadia Quest, Marvel Dice Masters, Quarriors! and A Game of Thrones: The Card Game.  Lang has received five Origins Awards and the Diana Jones Award for Excellence in Gaming. His latest project with CMON, Rising Sun, is currently on Kickstarter and has passed $2 million in funding (see “CMON Reveals Eric Lang's 'Rising Sun'”).

CMON has been expanding its in-house artistic team rapidly this year (see “CMON Expands Production and Development Team”).