[IMGW]http://media.1up.com/media?id=3364093[/IMGW]Secret Level, a small Sega-owned developer, has only created a handful of games, most of which you probably haven't played. http://www.1up.com/do/gameOverview?cId=3136391 and an Xbox port of http://www.1up.com/do/gameOverview?cId=3126672, while not the worst gameography, does not mark the group as a must-play studio. Since being acquired by Sega last year, though, Secret Level has been asked with some major projects.

Sega announced today that Darrin Stubbington will be taking over as the vice president of Secret Level and overseeing development of next-gen Sega titles http://www.1up.com/do/gameOverview?cId=3154942 and http://www.1up.com/do/gameOverview?cId=3150629.

Stubbington has been in the gaming industry with various publishers including Midway and perhaps most famously as the vice president of Iguana Entertainment. According to his http://www.mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,19699/ profile, Stubbington is credited for work in such games as http://www.1up.com/do/gameOverview?cId=3130820, http://www.1up.com/do/gameOverview?cId=3130762, and the NCAA Football franchise.

According to Sega, Stubbington's new position with them is part of their move to make Secret Level into a stronger developer and to make "Western-specific content." Their current goal is to become a top-five third-party publisher of video games; in June 2007, NPD ranked Sega sixth among third-party publishers.

We'll be able to see just how much Stubbington and Sega's new focus are affecting the studio soon enough, as both Iron Man and the next-gen Golden Axe remake are due out in 2008.

Thanks to http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/1up/ALLPS3/content/~3/140056953/newsStory for sharing the news with us!