hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


October 25, 2012

From Marine to video game maker

Local veteran can't find work, so starts own company


He was out of work for six months, submitting resumes to numerous air conditioning companies around New England, but with no success. Soto realized that air conditioning might not be in his immediate future, so he went back to school as an analitical chemistry major at Northern Essex Community College, using education benefits given to veterans.

Soto interned for a few months at Charm Sciences in Lawrence after he got his degree from Northern Essex Community College. He was ready to take a full-time job there until he got a better offer from his friend Logan Pellerin.

Pellerin and Soto had been playing a video game together for two years, but the game wasn’t professionally done and was filled with technical errors. Pellerin knew of Soto’s mechanical experience and challenged him to make the game better.

“He came to me and told me that I could do this if I put my mind to it,” Soto said. “He gave me startup capital and I began to start producing a newer, better version of this game.”

Soto had no video game experience, but he had been an avid player for more than 20 years. He taught himself and surrounded himself with aspiring video game developers.

“I started hiring people who were knowledgeable in making games,” he said. “They were much more experienced than I was in making games and I managed them.”

Soto is working on his first new game — “Exodus:Grand Melee,” one which comprises combat, role playing and building empires. He said this game is different from any other video games.

“There are other games that are similar to it in certain ways, but there is nothing that is exactly like the game that I’m making right now,” he said.

The game’s release is scheduled for the end of 2013. Once it is launched, players will have to pay a monthly fee to play the game through an online service.

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