Stephen Buonocore to Retire from Stronghold Games, Sydney Engelstein to Become Director of Game Development

This story has been updated to add more information on Sydney Engelstein.

Steven Buonocore, founder and president of Stronghold Games, will leave the company this August. Buonocore started Stronghold in 2009, which then merged with Indie Boards & Cards in 2018 to form Indie Game Studios. Buonocore has been the spokesperson for the merged company, while also running the Stronghold brand.

A well-known personality at conventions and in the tabletop gaming press, Buonocore said the retirement has been years in the making.

Sydney Engelstein will become Director of Game Development for Stronghold Games. The New Jersey-based game designer and developer graduated from Kenyon College. Engelstein has worked for Indie Game Studio for two years where she previously was Manager of Product Development and Design. In her new role she will focus on developing new and existing titles for Indie Games Studios, focusing on signing and developing games for Stronghold.

Sydney Engelstein, Director of Game Development for Stronghold Games.

Engelstein said the position meant a lot to her.

“I published my very first game back in high school with Stronghold Games, and this feels like a wonderful culmination of all the time I’ve spent working with them, both as part of the company and as a volunteer,” she said. 

“Stephen is a good friend and an unforgettable presence, and I hope that I will be able to fill the space he’s going to leave behind, and keep producing the amazing games that Stronghold Games is known for.”

Indie Game Studios CEO Travis Worthington will continue to run Indie Game Studios.

Buonocore said he is not leaving the industry, and will continue to co-host his podcast Board Game Insider. He also serves on the Board of the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund.

“I cherish the wonderful relationships that I have forged through Stronghold Games, both with industry people and fans of the company.  Rest assured that you all will most definitely see me at many future game conventions and shows. I greatly look forward to that for years to come,” Buonocore said.

Stronghold is best known for Survive: Escape From Atlantis, the Space Cadets universe, Terraforming Mars, and for its partnerships with other publishers.

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