Dusty Welch

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Dusty Welch
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  • Video Game Developer
  • Executive

Dusty Welch is an American video game developer[1] and executive. Welch serves as the CEO for game development studio Wildlight Entertainment[2]. Previously, Welch most recently served as the chief operating officer of Respawn Entertainment and general manager of Apex Legends.[3] Prior to Respawn, Welch co-founded and launched[4] the Call of Duty Franchise at Activision, and founded startup U4iA Games[5]



At Activision Welch was credited with founding[6] and launching the Call of Duty franchise. After the success of Call of Duty, Welch became the general manager of the Guitar Hero franchise within the company, overseeing publishing, marketing, and studio development from 2006 to 2009.[7][8] A period through which the franchise saw record-breaking sales. [9]

U4iA Games

At the end of 2011, Welch became the Founder and CEO of U4iA Games[10]. Welch co-founded the studio with Chris Archer, executive producer of Activision Publishing, with a focus on creating first-person social video games[11] with Welch's efforts aiming at dethroning top industry titles. [12][13] The company’s first game, Offensive Combat, was released for browsers and mobile platforms in 2012, such as the Ouya[14]. This lead to a deal Welch negotiated with Major League Gaming to feature the title.[15] As of January 15, 2014, the studio ceased operations.

Respawn Entertainment

In 2014, Welch joined Respawn Entertainment as Chief Operating Officer (COO).[16] At Respawn, Welch published Titanfall 2[17][18], Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order, and Apex Legends, a massive multiplayer online first-person shooter game.[19][20] Upon launching Apex Legends, Welch became the general manager for Apex Legends, overseeing the development team, global franchise, and esports operations.[21] Welch then elaborated on the importance of crossplay for Apex Legends in April 2020[22]. In May 2020, during Respawn's Ten Year Anniversary, Welch oversaw the founding of a second studio within Respawn to focus on Apex Legends.[23] In January 2021, Welch revealed that Respawn had started work on a game that had its focus on replayability. [24]

Wildlight Entertainment

In February 2021, Welch was revealed as the CEO of game development studio Wildlight Entertainment[25], heading the development of a still unannounced fully-funded shooter title.[26][27][28]

Honors and awards

In 2021, Welch was nominated for[29] and received an Academy Award as an executive producer[30][31] for “Colette,” a World War II based documentary associated with Respawn Entertainment.


  1. Orin, Andy. "I'm Dusty Welch, Video Game Developer, and This Is How I Work". Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  2. "WildLight Entertainment Staff Page".
  3. Sinclair, Brendan. "Respawn adds former Activision exec as COO". Games Industry.biz. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  4. Mantaro, Mike. "Senior Publicist, Corp. Communications". Activision Blizzard. Activision Blizzard. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  5. McElroy, Griffin. "'Offensive Combat' revealed by former Call of Duty devs". Polygon. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  6. Mantaro, Mike. "Senior Publicist, Corp. Communications". Activision Blizzard. Activision Blizzard. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  7. Bramwell, Tom. "Anyone Can Play Guitar Hero". Eurogamer. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  8. "Q&A: RedOctane's Dusty Welch". GameSpot. Retrieved 2022-11-15.
  9. Terdiman, Daniel. "Why 'Guitar Hero' is rockin' the game charts". CNET.
  10. Takahashi, Dean. "Former Call of Duty and Activision veterans start social game startup U4iA Games (exclusive)". GamesBeat. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  11. Alexander, Leigh. "What's A 'First Person Social' Game, Anyway?". Gamedeveloper.
  12. Weber, Rachel. "Creating a COD Killer U4iA's Dusty Welch on the launch of his new, social shooter studio, and why it's after COD". Games Industry.biz. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  13. Weber, Rachel. "Welch ready to "dethrone" Call Of Duty". Games Industry.biz. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  14. Gilbert, Ben. "iHeartRadio hearts Ouya; U4iA crafting 'Offensive Combat' port". Engadget. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  15. Gaudiosi, John. "U4iA Games Exec Dusty Welch Discusses New Major League Gaming ESports Deal For Offensive Combat". forbes.com. Retrieved 6 February 2023.
  16. Futter, Mike. "Respawn COO: Single-Player Isn't Ruled Out For The Titanfall Series". Game Informer. Retrieved 2022-11-15.
  17. Ardron, Nicola. "An interview with Dusty Welch, Chief Operating Officer for Respawn Entertainment".
  18. Mulkerkin, Tim. "We got an early hands-on look at the 'Titanfall 2' campaign — here's what we thought". Business Insider. Retrieved 7 December 2022.
  19. Joel Emslie & Dusty Welch Speak Mech - Interview, retrieved 2022-11-14
  20. "How Respawn crafted better mech combat and single-player play in Titanfall 2". VentureBeat. 2016-10-21. Retrieved 2022-11-15.
  21. "An interview with Dusty Welch, Chief Operating Officer for Respawn Entertainment". GodisaGeek.com. 2016-10-18. Retrieved 2022-11-14.
  22. Blake, Vikki. "Console crossplay is "important" to Apex Legends, says Respawn". Eurogamer.
  23. Valentine, Rebekah. "Respawn marks its ten-year anniversary with a new Vancouver studio". Games Industry.biz. Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  24. McIntyre, Isaac. "Apex Legends devs working on new game that will let players "adventure forever"".
  25. Delalic, Faris. "Former Titanfall, CoD & Apex Devs Working On "Epic" Shooter". EarlyGame. Retrieved 31 July 2023.
  26. "WildLight Entertainment Main Site". Wildlight.gg. Retrieved 16 February 2023.
  27. Lahiru, Neville. "Former Respawn Developers Announce New Studio Wildlight Entertainment". GameRant. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  28. Shutler, Ali. "Industry veterans behind 'Apex Legends' and 'Titanfall' form new studio Wildlight Entertainment". NME. Retrieved 17 February 2023.
  29. Segal, Adam J. "Guardian documentary Colette nominated for an Oscar". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 November 2022.
  30. Fanelli, Jason. "Electronic Arts and Respawn Win The Video Game Industry's First Ever Oscar". GameSpot. Retrieved 1 August 2023.
  31. "Respawn Entertainment becomes Oscar-winning developer - Play Diaries". 2021-04-26. Retrieved 2022-11-15.

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