Ben Lee is the co-founder and Managing Director of Blowfish Studios based in Sydney. He’s been a games and software developer for over 20 years and Blowfish has been producing games for nine years – and recently they also started publishing games too.
They’re best known for their Siegecraft games but have a super diverse range of games across consoles, PC and mobile. Lee is also particularly insightful on running a game studio as a business, and what you can learn from other businesses of all stripes, not just other devs.
Big thanks to IGEA for helping to line up this interview, and Byteside will be working with them to do a lot more developer interviews throughout 2020.
Seamus caught up with Josh Inman, Operations Manager for ESL Australia, a few weeks ago around the AO Summer Smash event (ESL was behind the scenes on production) to talk about the importance of that event to the local scene.
Plus Josh dropped the IEM Melbourne news on Seamus in this chat so you get to hear his raw reaction to the news and then they discuss just how Melbourne is getting so serious about being Australia’s “home of esports”.
Seamus visited the construction site of Fortress Melbourne ahead of the venue’s launch in early March. He spoke to Jon Satterley, CEO of Fortress, and Ben Jackson, Dell General Manager for Australia, to find out about the venue, its mission, its business model, and their Alienware partnership.
Having had the chance to walk the three-floor venue (as deeply under construction as it was), it does feel like something very new in the Australian market. It’s massive, and it’s aiming to be a great esports venue while also being a space that is open for use every day for people to hang out and play games together. And that includes tabletop!
It’s great to hear the mission from the folks before the public’s fingers hit the keyboards and controllers – and bars. Hopefully we’ll catch them again later in the year to hear more about how it’s doing and what lessons you just can’t learn until you’re operating.
Seamus rounds up his thoughts from being there, as well as the mainstream media interest that blew up around the event. Plus why the haters need to calm the farm – Fortnite is an esport and it’s not going away anytime soon.
And the positives of the shift into a new phase of Fortnite esports starting just days from now with Season X.
This week we’re taking a bit of a dive inside the new sponsorship deal between Intel and Acer and the Meta High School Esports program, owned and operated by Adelaide Crows Football Club.
These are global companies getting involved in an Australian grassroots esports operation, so it seemed an interesting opportunity to talk to all involved about why it’s happening, what it means for Meta and the value for Intel and Acer.
So I spoke to reps at all involved – Intel, Acer, Meta, and the Crows, plus I also had a chat with one of the teachers at a school that participates in the Meta program to get a sense of how this league is impacting on some of the students too.