Team17 CEO To Step Down After Over 30 Years

Published: March 28, 2023 8:49 AM /


A shot of a bored-looking queen in the Team17 game King of the Castle

Team17 has announced that after more than 30 years leading the studio, CEO Debbie Bestwick will step down. Bestwick will transition into a different role within the company once her successor has been found, providing "ongoing mentorship, support, and guidance" to the Team17 board.

This news was announced via Team17's official investor website. In the announcement, Team17 confirms that Bestwick will remain in her role as CEO while the search for a successor is ongoing, but will "transition into a non-executive role" following this process. It's not entirely clear what kind of role Bestwick intends to inhabit yet.


Debbie Bestwick is one of the co-founders of Team17, a studio that resulted from a merger between British outfit 17-Bit Software and Swedish studio Team 7. Bestwick would then co-lead Team17 for twenty years, eventually buying out her fellow founders' stakes in 2010 and becoming the sole CEO of the studio.

Worms WMD, a game created by Debbie Bestwick's company Team17
Team17's most famous franchises include the turn-based strategy-action game Worms, as well as games like Yooka-Laylee and Blasphemous.

During her tenure, Bestwick oversaw the growth of some of Team17's biggest franchises, including WormsOvercooked!, and The Escapists. However, her time as CEO was also not without controversy. Under Bestwick, the company announced, then quickly shuttered, its controversial NFT project MetaWorms, for example, and Bestwick was also allegedly one of the key causes of many employees' discomfort and ill-treatment at Team17. This situation led to Team17 Digital CEO Michael Pattison pledging an "extensive report" into company practices and values in February last year.

As well as Bestwick's departure, Team17 also revealed its unaudited financial statistics for the year ending December 31st. They include a jump in revenue by 52%, although profit before tax fell 1%. Much of the revenue jump, according to Team17's financial document, is down to acquisitions made by the company in the last 12 months, including shooter Hell Let LooseBus Simulator 21 developer Astragon, and indie publisher The Label.

We'll have to wait and see what this jump in revenue means for Team17, but it's fair to say the studio has a full slate of upcoming projects, including the excellent horror fishing title Dredge, as well as sequels for Moving Out and Blasphemous. Stay tuned to TechRaptor for more info on all things Team17.



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