Thaine Lyman had 17 years at Activision under his belt working on major PC and console games like Call of Duty before he headed to Wargaming to work on World of Tanks. After a first stint in the PC team he headed to Minsk in Belarus to lead the mobile team on Blitz.
We talk about the new era of ‘real’ mobile games, how free to play models have changed, and the fights over creating fantasy tanks and skins in a game with a long pedigree of historical accuracy. It’s a really fun chat so dive in and enjoy!
Seamus talks to Run Curry, CEO of the Interactive Games and Entertainment Association, about how the industry has been dealing with the pandemic, the highs and lows of the first half of the year, and the politics that holds back better support for the business of games in this country.
If you’re in the industry, or you want to be, or you just want to know what’s going on, Ron is the guy and this episode is a great update on everything that’s been happening and where things might go next.
This week I’m talking to Rich Lambert, Creative Director of Elder Scrolls Online. Rich has been working on the title since its inception, which makes it a 13 year journey working on the game. Keep in mind it was in development for seven years before its official release in 2014.
The game struggled for a while but it has carved out a unique patch in the MMO space after some big changes a few years back. We discuss this and other aspects of what defines Elder Scrolls Online and how the big story arcs like we find in the new Greymoor expansion help to keep its fans coming back again and again.
Greymoor is now available and while this latest expansion has a cost, you can dive in and try ESO for free and enjoy an awful lot of the game without ever being forced to pay.
I’m a long-time WoW nerd and I’ve spent some time in ESO lately and after some initial confusion found the different combat and deeper approach to storyline built into the quest lines to be a really refreshing angle. It’s always a good thing for there to be diversity in the MMO category.
Philip Mayes is the founder and CEO of Mighty Kingdom, an Adelaide games studio closing in on its tenth anniversary. The studio was named Studio of the Year at the 2019 Australian Game Developer Awards, with a super successful focus on developing games for big brand licenses including the likes of Disney, Lego and Conan. Their games reach tens of millions around the world and they’re one of the biggest studios in the country in terms of both head count and output.
This is another fantastic conversation, exploring Philip’s big desire to see more studios really extending themselves toward bigger ambitions, wanting to see more small-to-medium studios pursue bigger and bigger ideas to chase the dream of becoming big studios in their own right.
It’s really great hearing Phil talk with a clear mission to create a big and successful business in the games industry, and the desire to develop positive competition and look to lift all ships along the way.
This week I’m chatting to Dylan Miklashek from Gameloft’s offices in Brisbane. He’s the Studio Manager and has been with the company since it founded its Australian operation. This is a longer chat than usual, but Dylan was super insightful and really candid about both the studio and the wider industry so it was a chat that I was happy to just dig deeper and deeper into.
Dylan has a really interesting background that led him to arrive where he is today and he has strong opinions about the need for government schemes like tax incentives as part of building a thriving and globally competitive ecosystem. While he’s not from Australia originally, and perhaps because he’s not, he’s got some great thoughts on why this is such a great country to be a game developer in, but also looks at the difficulties of finding the right staff when running a development studio in Brisbane and we explore what’s needed to help train developers, to get more of them to the right tier of experience, and to spread the industry around the country and not just always talk about how great things are down in Melbourne.
It’s an honest mix of the difficulties and the opportunities in the scene today.
The gaming influencer and content creator agency Click Management represents some of the world’s biggest names in the space. LazarBeam, Loserfruit, MrFreshAsian, Muselk, and more.
Grace Watkins co-founded the company and runs the show, having peeled off from working at PwC to take on this role.
Gaming content creators are a massive force in this industry, so it’s great to get Grace’s insights on the role Click aims to play both locally and globally. And how they engage in that tricky space where global reach doesn’t always align with where marketing dollars want to go.
This was recorded in the ‘before times’, at Fortnite Summer Smash back in January.
This week I’m chatting with Ross Symons, CEO of Big Ant Studios, Australia’s most prolific maker of sports video games. Cricket, AFL, tennis, rugby league, and even lacrosse, Big Ant has got them all in its library. What unites designing sports games of so many stripes? How has Big Ant dealt with licensing? We explore these questions and many more.
Ross is a true veteran of the industry and shares so many great thoughts about games development since some of its earliest days and how to carve a path in the industry. So we start by heading all the way back to where it began for Ross to show just how deep his knowledge of the business goes.
SMG Studio has a diverse catalogue but every one has been an eyecatcher. One More Line, Over The Top Tower Defence (OTTTD), Death Squared and more, as well as licensed versions of Risk.
Ash has a background in advertising which comes up in our discussion as part of pinning down the clarity of vision the studio hits on with each of its games and also right here at the start as we kick off the call with the realisation Ash and I once worked together 20 years ago…
On today’s show I talk to Ben Goldhaber, co-founder and CEO of Juked.gg, a fantastic esports aggregation website that makes it easy to just see all the esports happening live online right now.
When you hit the site you just get this great dashboard of live feeds as if you’re looking at a bunch of screens in a sports bar. It launched in 2019 and I’ve been a fan since I first spotted it – it solves the classic problem of not knowing what’s on and not being sure where to find it.
Ben has a huge background in both esports and live-streaming, and was even on the founding team when twitch.tv was born.
So it was great to catch up and hear his thoughts on why he’s created Juked as well as his thoughts on making esports easier to watch and where this still very new service might go from here.
This week Seamus talks with Nico King, co-founder and Executive Creative Director of Chaos Theory Games, an independent games studio based out of Sydney, Australia.
Chaos Theory is a great blend of pragmatism and idealism, creating games for brands to help them with marketing initiatives right through to games for good, helping charities, educators and environmental causes to deliver fun and engaging experiences.
They’ve worked with businesses as big as eBay, M&Ms and Samsung to create mobile games and even AR and VR experiences. And then they’ve helped Sydney University gamify dermatology education, and created the Bleached Az game tie-in for a viral animated cartoon series.