Portfolio > The Entrepreneurs > Clark Stacey & Kris Johnson

Creative visionaries

Clark Stacey and Kris Johnson met over a decade ago and have since built the world-renowned Animal Jam franchise. Along with co-founder Jeff Amis, they launched WildWorks (formerly Smart Bomb Interactive) with a Series-A investment from Signal Peak Ventures.  From their studio headquarters in Salt Lake City, the WildWorks team of about 100 developers is now extending the Animal Jam experience into mobile games and other media.  They are also developing new original titles, such as Tunnel Town; which is available worldwide via the Apple App Store and Google Play.

Clark Stacey is the co-founder and CEO of WildWorks. Clark was pursuing a career in academia when his passion for technology, storytelling, and blowing things up drew him to game development in 1992.  He began his career in interactive entertainment with Beyond Games, where he contributed to a decade of successful games across a variety of platforms.  There, he variously designed or directed titles such as Redline, Motor Mayhem, Hot Wheels: Velocity X, and several others — all of which depended heavily on blowing things up.

Clark graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in English Literature and Philosophy, and is evidently doing what one does with those qualifications.

“With the goal of providing a fun, exciting, and safe environment for children to play online, Animal Jam also seeks to inspire exploration and curiosity about the natural world outside their doors.”

Kris Johnson is the co-founder, COO, and Studio Director of WildWorks. An early pioneer in the Utah digital media cluster, Kris was the founder, President, and CEO of the landmark development studio Beyond Games.  Known for its vehicle action titles and cutting-edge technology, Beyond Games thrived under Kris’ strategic leadership and creative direction, quickly achieving multi-million dollar annual revenues.  He was instrumental in the company’s acquisition by the Canopy Group in 2003, prior to turning his focus to substantive digital media for kids.

Kris’ enduring passion is creating interactive adventures that teach through entertainment; a medium which he envisions changing the world in the coming years.