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Carbonated Inc. names former Puny Human CEO as its new Chief Development Officer

LOS ANGELES, April 03, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Six months after the announced closure of Puny Human in October 2023, its former Chief Executive Officer and Studio Manager has taken a new position. Mike Sanders, the former CEO of Puny Human, which closed its doors after 16 years, has been appointed the Chief Development Officer of Carbonated.

Carbonated is a mobile game developer led by former veterans of Zynga, Electronic Arts, and Blizzard. The studio raised $8.5 million for its mobile squad-based shooter in 2020 and another $11 million in March of this year. The developer is creating MadWorld, a post-apocalyptic third-person multiplayer shooter featuring AI squadmates and territory control.

In October 2023, Puny Human announced that it would close its doors before the end of the year, assisting in new roles for employees at other companies. The studio developed three original titles before 2015, including Blade Symphony, the third-person sword fighter. Later, Puny Human assisted or co-developed titles like The Bard’s Tale IV, Wasteland 3, Trover Saves the Universe, and The Callisto Protocol.

Mike Sanders took his first position in the games industry in 2006, at Epic Games, where he worked on the first Gears of War title, and later, he worked at Ubisoft RedStorm on numerous titles, including Far Cry 2 and Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter 2. Subsequently, Sanders established Puny Human with a team that had been creating game modifications, where he served as both engineer and producer on numerous titles.

"In 2023, I had the fortunate opportunity to meet and work with Mike on the O3DE engine project. It quickly became apparent that Mike is not just deeply knowledgeable about the gaming industry and passionate about the creative process, but crucially, he possesses a rare ability to successfully deliver," said Travis Boatman, CEO of Carbonated. "Mike is an exceptional leader and a seasoned professional in the gaming world. We are thrilled to welcome him to the leadership team here at Carbonated."

Travis Boatman founded Carbonated in 2015 after leaving Zynga, where he was the SVP of Mobile, to build high-fidelity live-service games, starting with MadWorld. Recently, the Linux Foundation announced that Carbonated, as an active member of the Open 3D Foundation, is developing the first mobile title for the Open 3D Engine (O3DE).

“Mike Sanders has helped Carbonated push the boundaries for O3DE, offering advice, suggestions, and valuable improvements along the way,” says Joe Bryant, newly appointed Executive Director of the Open 3D Foundation, “We are grateful to have contributors like Mike and his team working with O3DE.”

After recently increasing its presence on social media channels, Carbonated is expected to release a cinematic story trailer for MadWorld in Q2 of this year.

To find more information about MadWorld and Carbonated, please visit or follow @playmadworld on X (formerly Twitter). For questions, or to learn more about the Carbonated team, they're only an email away at

Find a press kit with executive headshots and more information here:

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

About Carbonated
Carbonated is a developer founded in 2015 by video game industry veterans from Zynga, Sony, Electronic Arts and Blizzard Entertainment. Backed by the best names in gaming, including a16z, BITKRAFT Ventures, Golden Ventures, and Com2uS, Carbonated aspires to create global games that entertain millions.

About Puny Human
Formed in 2007 as a "spiritual continuation" of a modding group, Puny Human was initially known for original IP such as Dystopia, Blade Symphony, and Galacide. In 2015, it branched into co-development and has provided support for titles such as The Callisto Protocol, The Bard's Tale IV, Tribes of Midgard, and Trover Saves The Universe.

About the Open 3D Foundation (O3DF)
The Open 3D Foundation (O3DF) is a collaborative community of industry leaders dedicated to advancing open-source 3D technology. Through the development and support of the Open 3D Engine (O3DE), the foundation aims to democratize game development and foster innovation in the gaming industry.

Jessica Timms
UberStrategist PR

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Mike Sanders Headshot

Mike Sanders, CDO, Carbonated Inc