Our Core Values:
Be Kind and Considerate
Act with honesty and integrity. Embrace diversity. Keep your promises and follow through on your commitments.
Use Sound Judgement
Speak and act deliberately. Look at both the big picture and the details. Consider consequences and make wise decisions.
Strive for Excellence
Champion quality in everything you do. Ensure a great user experience. Find ways to enhance our games and our company.
Be open-minded. Learn and adapt. Seek to improve yourself, your coworkers, and our community.
Certain Affinity (CA) was founded in 2006 as a bootstrap startup with the goal of creating innovative, top-quality action games. CA brings together an exceptionally experienced, unusually talented group to form one of the largest independent developers in Austin, Texas. The company's 250+ full-time employees include veterans from dozens of successful game studios, with Max Hoberman, CA's founder and former Multiplayer and Online Lead for the Halo series, serving as CEO.
Life & Culture
We're an amazingly talented team who work together in an open creative environment.
Certain Affinity’s team touts some of the best talent in the video game industry, and our studio is a truly collaborative space where all the departments connect and intermingle creating a real sense of camaraderie that makes everyday fun and rewarding! The team comes in everyday excited to work with the caliber of talent sans the ego.
We build the time to celebrate each other and our work!
We've grown into a game development powerhouse, without losing our small studio heart and priorities.
After more than fifteen years of success, we’re branching out into developing original IP (while still helping out other developers ship huge titles) and planning for expansion...not layoffs. We never want to lose sight of the core tenets that have made our company — and our employees — so successful.
Our company culture reflects the vibrant nature of the city we call home. Certain Affinity's headquarters are close to downtown Austin, commuter-friendly and close to parks, restaurants, and other amenities. Employee-led groups encompass everything from live music outings and Ultimate Frisbee leagues to figure-drawing sessions and board-gaming. We embrace Austin's diverse, creative, and easygoing nature, and we love adding like-minded people to our team.
We are thrilled to be going international and to set up our second studio in Toronto, Canada. At first glance, our second home in the Great White North may seem very different from Austin but the two cities have more in common than you might think: a diverse populace, a strong sense of community, a belief in environmental responsibility, a high quality-of-life standard, and some of the world’s finest food. But as the fourth-largest city in North America, Toronto also boasts over 6.4 million people, a burgeoning tech sector, growing art, and creative scene, and a gaggle of prestigious universities — a great place for a growing company like Certain Affinity to set up shop.
Max Hoberman founded Certain Affinity in 2006 with the goal of creating innovative, top-quality AAA action video games. As the company’s Founder and CEO, Max is widely recognized as a pioneer in the industry for revolutionizing the way people play competitive multiplayer games on consoles. He has over 20 years of experience in publishing, design, development and business leadership. Certain Affinity has built a reputation as the go-to co-development partner for AAA action titles, with recent contributions to World of Tanks, Call of Duty, and DOOM. In fact, the highly prolific studio has been lead developer or co-developer on 31 products across 13 different franchises, with combined sales of more than 100 million units. Max is now leading Certain Affinity into its second decade, maintaining the company’s track record of co-development excellence while shifting towards lead development into one licensed AAA IP and one original IP.
Paul Sams has been an industry leader for 30 years. He served as COO at Blizzard Entertainment for ~21 years, spanning growth from <40 local employees to 4,000+ global employees and annual profits of <$50M to nearly$1B. He also served as the CEO and Lead Strategic Advisor for Ready At Dawn Studios. He subsequently started his own independent advisory and consulting services company focused on helping numerous independent game development, esports, and entertainment related companies. Paul has demonstrated a consistent commitment to product quality and gameplay first. He has served as a company leader that has been meaningfully involved in building some of the world’s biggest and most beloved game franchises - which directly translated into over 10 different game of the year winners and some of the most commercially successful games of all time.
Mojdeh oversees the business and operational success of Certain Affinity, the largest independent AAA game developer in Austin. She ensures CA hits overall business, people and revenue goals as well as long term objectives. An Iranian American who grew up in Austin, she has a diverse background with over 20 years of experience in tech, gaming, advertising and real estate – most of that time focused on sales, marketing and operations at Microsoft. She has a passion for mentoring and empowering others, helping her community and advocating for local businesses and economic initiatives.
Stephanie Letendre comes to Certain Affinity with more than 20 years of finance and accounting experience working primarily in the technology industry with companies ranging from small start-ups to large enterprises. She provides executive level support from strategic direction and funding alternatives, to operational improvement, and tactical planning. Stephanie spent 2016 working for 9Gauge Partners providing financial advisory consulting services. Prior to 9Gauge she was VP of Finance for Motion Computing, Inc. where she successfully completed the sale of the company to Xplore Technologies Corp. Stephanie has also worked for Merlin International, Inc., an IT consulting firm, PeopleSoft/J.D. Edwards software company, and Sea World of San Diego. Stephanie is married with two teenage children, one boy and one girl, and enjoys running, hiking, and water skiing.
James Thoma is a 1980 graduate of the University of Texas Law School and has been practicing law in California and Texas for the last 40 years. He has been a partner at major international firms including Akin Gump and Greenberg Traurig. He specializes in media and media finance with a broad background representing both important individuals and significant international companies in motion pictures, video games, music and cross-platform entertainment ventures. He is the former general counsel of the International Game Developer Association and helped establish the lending practices still used for one-off video game funding by several banks in Silicon Valley.
Rick Ortiz serves as Vice President of Human Resources for Certain Affinity. He is responsible for leading CA's overall human resources strategy, global talent acquisition, leadership development, DEI, organizational design and cultural development, employee education, total rewards, HR operations and technology, and employee relations. He has over 20 years of experience working predominantly for Fortune 100 companies in the technology industry. Born in Cuba and raised in New Jersey, he has a deep-rooted passion for helping others reach their full potential as well as supporting underrepresented groups.Rick is very active in our community and serves on the advisory boards of several local government agencies and universities.