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FIONA SPERRY DEVELOPMENT expert Fiona Sperry started out in publishing, working for US giant McGraw-Hill. During her five years there, she worked her way up from publishing assistant to publisher – but it didn’t feel quite right. “Although I was managing over fifty authors, I always felt a step removed from the creative process,” she says. So in 1997 she contacted Malsara Thorn at Datascope Recruitment, where she was put forward for a producer role at Criterion Studios. After producing two games she was appointed studio director in 2000 and focused the company on console development as the first PS2 dev kits arrived. “What excited me about the games business was realising the impact I could make,” she explains. “I started the Burnout

series back in 2000 and never looked back. Over the last 14 years the work of Criterion Games entertained tens of millions of players and that’s an amazing feeling. “Ultimately, I was drawn to the fact that a small British team could take on the whole world and win. “In the year we released Burnout 3: Takedown we won Game of the Year from both Official US PlayStation Magazine and Official US Xbox Magazine, beating both GTA: San Andreas and Halo 2.” She says she is most proud, however, of leaving behind these blockbusters and a stable job at EA to start an independent development company in March 2014: Three Fields Entertainment. “The rules of game publishing have really changed and I want to be at the forefront of those changes,” she explains.

The rules of game publishing have really changed and I want to be at the forefront of those changes.

JACKSON’S career started in development before moving into business development. She has since worked at the forefront of many transformations including mobile in 2000, online digital distribution with Eidos in 2004 and now games education development with the Next Gen Skills Academy. Among her proudest moments is signing Kuju’s London Studio to Nintendo for what would become Battalion Wars – and hearing the feedback of Shigeru Miyamoto and his team on the game.




PEARCE has been one of the faces of Nintendo for over 16 years. She began as UK PR manager for THE Games – Nintendo’s UK distributor – in 1998, and went on to handle the arrival of Pokémon in Britain. From there she moved to Nintendo’s European team to lead PR and communications, where she worked on the launches of GameCube, Wii, DS, and 3DS. Stepping up to the role of marketing director in the UK, Pearce has launched Wii U and is working on the release of New Nintendo 3DS next month.

REDDY is co-founder and studio director of LittleBigPlanet creator Media Molecule. South African-born, with a childhood in Australia, Reddy moved to the UK aged 18 where she worked at Perfect Entertainment, before moving to Burnout firm Criterion Games in 1999. She co-founded Media Molecule in 2006, acting as executive producer before taking up her current role in 2009. She was named one of the most powerful women in gaming by both the BBC and Forbes in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

AFTER a series of programming jobs at firms including Sony and Climax, Vicky Smalley became CTO of If You Can in 2013. If You Can is an adventure game for iPad that aims to teach children social and emotional learning, with the aim of improving their emotional intelligence and helping them cope with real life issues. Smalley is known for her talent when programming AI, with a focused attention to detail – and this expertise she brings to her current role.

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AMANDA FARR 15 years ago, another woman on this list - Lis Naylor - put Amanda Farr forward for a role at GT Interactive, which was looking for a marketing manager. Since then, Farr has worked on franchises such as Driver, Unreal, Sonic and Football Manager. She ran her own marketing business for almost five years before joining Sega, and has just accepted a new role at Xbox. “Gaming has been part of my life since I was nine,” Farr says. “My family had an independent games shop so I grew up immersed in the industry.”



REENA SOOD ONE of the first games Sood worked on was a certain Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. She then launched the toys-to-life genre in the UK with the first Skylanders. So, you can see why Warner Bros was so keen to hire her for its LEGO video game series, which she currently works on as UK product manager. “By far my proudest achievement is working for WBIE on the entire LEGO slate,” she says. “Also, being a part of breaking the toys-to-life genre in the UK was one of the best opportunities I’ve had to-date.”

PETRA CATTANACH FOLLOWING stints in the children’s book and toy industries, Cattanach started in games in 2008 as the project manager within Sony’s creative services group, contributing to the likes of SingStar, Killzone and Wonderbook. She moved to Microsoft in 2013, working on a number of infrastructure projects and alongside developer Press Play. “I am passionate about the adoption of emerging technologies and developing the business infrastructure to utilise these opportunities,” she says.



AS senior business development manager, Strangfeld has played a major part in Sony’s recent console developments, working and launching over 80 different video services in more than 30 SCEE territories. “We don’t let just everyone come on board; we only want the best or most interesting content for our users on our platforms,” she explains, adding: “The thought of being able to change the way people engage with their consoles and each other and working on the next big trends still excites me.”

ROMANOS began working in games in 2008 after graduating from university. Setting up development studio Remode with fellow graduate Martin Darby, Romanos was CEO for six years, building a studio of 20 people and creating games for a range of clients. In 2014, Romanos and Darby decided to close Remode, founding Strike Gamelabs in its place to allow them to develop games for themselves. Romanos continues to provide a range of strategic support to other developers and organisations.

JULIE MAN ONCE named ‘the friendly face of EA’, Julie Man’s career reads like a who’s who of the games industry. Starting out working at Philips and the launch of the CD-I, she went on to hold developerfocused roles at Virgin, EA and Activision. Since then she’s managed publishing relationships with studios including Lionhead and Creative Assembly, before founding her own agency Marjacq Man, which aims to uphold and fight for the rights of new developers.



SELF-taught developer Holly Pickering started her time in the industry at LEGO studio Traveller’s Tales. Following her participation in the XX GameJam – the world’s first female-only game jam – she helped set up LadyCADE, a group that organises casual events and gatherings for women who enjoy video games. “LadyCADE was put together to get more women into games. We stopped focusing on the negative and actively start celebrating the ones we do have,” she explains.

AFTER studying audio in the UK and Canada, Orland joined Criterion and was initially disappointed not to be working on Burnout, but rather a new FPS called Black. “I quickly realised that it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me and I’m fortunate that the first game that I got to work on professionally is also my proudest,” says Orland. She’s since joined Sony’s London studio where she is senior sound designer and has worked on God of War 3 and demos for Project Morpheus.

EMMA SIMKISS SIMKISS was responsible for building up one of the biggest games networks in the world – Xbox Live Gold – as business manager for two years, before jumping ship to Sony last October to become senior manager for PlayStation Plus. Alongside three colleagues, she also helped form the Women of Xbox group, which organised training and development opportunities, as well as hosting talks aimed at addressing challenges faced by those in games. Simkiss calls the group’s work ‘enlightening’.


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TANYA KRZYWINSKA LIKE many who grew up during the 1980s and went on to work in the industry, Krzywinska’s interest in games was catalysed by playing text-based games. After she realised the medium’s potential, she became an advocate for its academic study and has been a professor of digital games for ten years. She is currently working to create a games academy at Falmouth University, where research, incubation and enterprise will be brought together, along with under and postgraduate courses.



MARCHAL had a late-blooming interest in games that began with the first PlayStation. She joined Quantic Dream as junior game designer on Fahrenheit in 2003. and she went on to work on Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. But Heavy Rain is the dearest to her, having provided her the most education as a designer. It was also the first time she led a team. Her goal is to continue working on games that are not afraid to push boundaries. She hopes this will be fulfilled by a concept she is working on with Sony London.

IN mid-2012, Leanne Bayley was hired as a designer for Remode Games. Despite having no experience when she joined, she learnt quickly, and was soon promoted to creative producer. Later she left, moved to Brighton and fell pregnant. “My partner and I decided I’d have an extended maternity leave and work on some solo projects,” she tells MCV. Two weeks after their daughter was born, Bayley and her partner released hit iOS title Glyph Quest. “I’m now a full time mum and dev,” Bayley says.

DEBBIE BESTWICK BESTWICK co-founded Team 17 in 1990 and worked on the launch of the 65m-selling Worms IP. She was instrumental in Team 17’s transition to being a digital and mobile developer, before completing an MBO on the firm and turning it into a fully-fledged indie publisher. Moving forward Bestwick wants to continue helping turn indie games into successes. She also wants to encourage more women to enter games, and help those already in the industry to aim higher. “There’s simply too few women at the top level in our industry,” she says.




LIFE coach Lis Naylor has been in the industry for 25 years, starting her career as sales manager at distributor Leisuresoft before moving up the ranks to become deputy MD and a board member. In 1990 she left to start her own recruitment firm, Answers, which quickly became the ‘go-to’ outlet for industry placements, working exclusively with Sega and Activision to set up their European and US operations. In 2014 she started job consultancy Lis Welsh Search and Selection.

HAVING finished a degree in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, Kirsty Rigden started her career in QA at i-Play before ‘pestering’ her way into a design role. In 2010 she moved to Brighton-based FuturLab as operations director, and has been instrumental in turning the firm into the award-winning outfit it is today. “I remember choosing my A-Levels and thinking I’m going to make damn sure my job is something I’m really passionate about,” Rigden says.

BOSSA Studios co-founder and CMO Roberta Lucca is responsible for the studio’s initiatives to grow and engage with millions of Bossa’s fans and players worldwide. She was voted top 35 women under 35 by Management Today and was an Entrepreneur of the Year finalist in 2014. With 14 years international experience in creating disruptive products and businesses within a range of industries (games, TV, luxury, fashion and mobile), she is keen to support and see more talented women in top jobs.

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LOUISE MARCHANT LOUISE Marchant has helped launched some huge games in her time. As a publicist at EA, she worked on campaigns for the likes of Burnout Paradise and the Rock Band series. She then moved to Ubisoft as senior PR manager in 2009, and rose up the ranks to group marketing manager in 2013. Marchant has helped launch a huge variety of titles, including Far Cry 3 and Just Dance 3. Now she oversees marketing plans for all of the publisher’s titles in the UK.




TIMEA TABORI TIMEA Tabori is a junior engine programmer at Rockstar North and a member of the board of directors of non-profit gaming community IGDA Scotland. Originally from Hungary, Tabori graduated from Abertay University in 2013. Her inclusion in the Top 100 Women in Games is the latest in a series of accolades inspired by her excellent work – she is a former Games Developer Conference IGDA Scholar and was one of Develop’s 30 Under 30 in 2013. Tabori thrives to continuously grow and develop herself through a wide array of personal projects and community engagement. In particular, she has been a long-serving volunteer for IGDA Scotland, where she recently joined the board of directors, aiming to

JO BARTLETT BEFORE joining the games sector, Jo Bartlett worked in PR for galleries, film festivals and DVDs. She began working with PlayStation at Jackie Cooper PR, where she became ‘hooked’ on games. She worked across various agencies with PlayStation, EA and THQ, and three years ago, she was named Nintendo’s UK PR boss. “The creativity and desire to push boundaries and drive games forward is inspirational.” she says of the industry. “We truly have some of the world’s most talented and creative pioneers.”

have a positive impact. In 2013 she was voted IGDA Scotland’s most valuable person for her commitment to the organisation over that year. She is also a STEM and video games ambassador working with CoderDojo, where she works to teach young people about programming and promote careers in the creative industries. Among Tabori’s primary passions are the power of games as a medium, opportunities in game development and diversity in the games industry community, workforce and products, for which she is an advocate. Through her career and public engagement, Tabori hopes to work towards increasing the relevance of the community and achieving better inclusivity throughout the games industry.

Tabori hopes to work towards achieving better inclusivity throughout the industry.

POKÉMON PR boss Emily Britt began her career working as a localisation tester during her holidays. Her first full time job was at Konami as promotions co-ordinator working on Metal Gear and PES. But her proudest moment came when she relaunched Tomb Raider as Square Enix’s global PR lead. She says: “It was great to be part of a team who were all focused on making a success of rebooting such a massive IP.” Her current aim, as chair of GamesAid, is to beat 2014’s record-breaking fundraising year.



INTELLECTUAL property lawyer Rajendra specialises in games and its tech, and works with multiple gaming clients to advise on all types of IP issues. Her games education arose in one particular case where she represented a console-maker. Rajendra says that she finds gaming clients a lot of fun to work with, due to their innovation and the crucial role of IP to their business. Having joined IP law firm Rouse 18 years ago, Rajendra has seen the company grow from 25 people to over 650.

LOUISE Gaynor has 20 years of experience in the media sector, working in both client and agency roles. After eight years in marketing at Virgin Interactive Entertainment, Gaynor moved to the agency side as an account director at Target Media. Here she planned and bought for over 500 game launches from Football Manager to Moshi Monsters. In 2010 Louise stepped up to the role of COO to ensure this energetic and growing company is performing at its best for their clients and team.

ALICE TAYLOR THE founder of 3D printing firm MakieLab, Taylor’s career in games began at the age of 11, when she’d map directions for Sphinx Adventure on wallpaper. Driven primarily by fun, Taylor’s proudest moments include commissioning educational games on topics such as sex education and civil liberties. Another highlight was winning the Rising Star Inventor award at the Chicago Toy and Game Fair for Taylor’s team’s work on Makies, the world’s first 3D printed toy. In her own words: “That was pretty chuffing good.”


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ROSEMARY BUAHIN What achievements are you most proud of? The PS3 launch marked the first time that I designed and implemented in-store furniture displays at retail, providing opportunities to play on 40-inch high-definition televisions. The campaign was punctuated with a phenomenal retail midnight launch where we gave away some of those excess TVs to consumers so they could experience HD gaming with their new PS3s. Other highlights were, of course, my MCV Special Recognition prize at the MCV Awards 2012, which was such a surprise; making the MCV Fantasy Dream Team; and the PlayStation UK team winning multiple awards at the MCV Awards last year, including Best Trade Marketing Team. It felt like we’d finally arrived.

Tell us about your career in games – what was your first job in the industry? I fell into the games industry completely by accident. I was temping for a High Street recruitment consultant and got a placement with Eidos; I ended up staying there and worked as the company’s international sales co-coordinator. I fell in love with the games industry and 15 years later, have never looked back. What excited you about the industry that made you want to get involved? I loved gaming anyway – Doom and Donkey Kong were my jam – and had a creative background, so I was naturally intrigued by the graphical capabilities that could transform naive 2D visuals into spectacular 3D polygon graphics.

I fell in love with the games industry and 15 years later, have never looked back.

HOLLIE Bennett was still at university when she got involved with the community at gaming blog Destructoid. This hobby became a career in 2012 when she approached Bandai Namco – by April she had become the firm’s consumer and community PR executive. Now one of the faces of Sony’s PlayStation Access community platform, Bennett was involved in the launch of PS4 and has played a big role in the console’s debut year.




PRATCHETT began her career as a journalist for PC Zone before writing scripts for the likes of Mirror’s Edge, Thief, Prince of Persia and the Overlord series. She has written novellas, comic books and films alongside her video game work. In 2013 she brought Lara Croft back to life with the Tomb Raider reboot and is writing that game’s sequel, Rise of the Tomb Raider, set for release later this year. She’s also been dabbling with mobile by working on Rival Kingdoms for Space Ape.

DUE to her love of storytelling and video games, Rendell studied computer game design at the University of Wales, before joining Ooblada in Paris as a designer. Later she moved across to the mobile games company Kobojo, where she’s now working with ex-Final Fantasy devs on online JRPG Zodiac. Rendell is on the board of directors for IGDA Scotland and, as a strong believer of diversity in games, says that she hopes to influence and highlight the need for greater diversity in games.

ASTON joined Team 17 as a QA Tester in 2011 before taking up a PR role one year later. She’s already been promoted to senior PR executive and says her career highlight so far was seeing Team 17-published title The Escapists on Xbox’s stage at last year’s Gamescom. A life-long games fan, her career has been a dream come true. “Being able to turn my passion into a career is a wonderful opportunity, which I’m thankful for each day,” she says.

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ANNE LEPISSIER LEPISSIER is a sales veteran, having spent 17 years working for consumer electronic giants including LG, Canon and, now, Microsoft, in multiple roles. A graduate of various business schools around the world, Lepissier’s current role sees her running the sales team and strategy for computing and gaming at Microsoft, working closely with retailers around the country to establish Xbox as the UK’s number one gaming ecosystem. This is primarily via the firm’s efforts to transition to a digital world.



ANN HURLEY HURLEY joined the games industry in November of 1986 as the telesales manager for distributor CentreSoft. She worked within the Centregold group for several years before moving north to join Ocean Software as sales director. Having worked in distribution, publishing (at Gremlin and Infogrammes) and, for the past three years, within the localisation and QA sector, Hurley’s experience now encompasses a broad range of the games business, making her a vital source of industry knowledge.

HELEN GOURLEY STARTING her ecommerce career at HMV 15 years ago, Helen Gourley now runs the PlayStation Store across the EMEA region and has been key to driving exceptional growth of the digital platform since she joined in 2010. Gourley is currently working on the launch of streaming service PlayStation Now – which enters beta this year – in the UK, as well as a number of enhancements to the PlayStation Store aimed at creating unique experiences for consumers.



SARAH Seaby’s brother used to tell her that that girls couldn’t work in the games industry, as she waited patiently for her go on the PlayStation. Yet, when a job ad appeared in MCV’s predecessor CTW for a marketing role at Interplay, she applied and proved him wrong. Including stints at Take-Two, Sega, GameCock and now Bethesda, Seaby has worked on numerous triple-A giants, from Baldur’s Gate to Elder Scrolls. She says: “I’ve been very lucky to have worked with some of the world’s most talented studios.”

DEVELOPER Helana Santos studied computer and multimedia systems at Oxford Brookes University having never coded before in her life. She went on to achieve a First and headed straight into development at Pivotal Games. She now is a UKIE board member and heads up indie studio Modern Dream. She is also a director at Arch Creatives, an outlet that provides mentoring and training for developers. “My biggest goal is to always be able to follow my passion,” she tells MCV.

GISELLE STEWART HAVING overseen Ubisoftowned Newcastle studio Reflections as general manager for 19 years, Stewart is now heading up Ubisoft’s corporate affairs in the UK. She plays an instrumental role in influencing the skills and talent agenda, including implementing a more favorable immigration policy for the industry. Furthermore, she is a director of trade-body TIGA, chair of the Creative Skillset Council for Video Games and an advisory Board member for the Next Gen Skills Academy.



WHEN Katie Goode was seven years old, she wrote in her Disney Filofax that she wanted to make video games. Years later, Goode has worked for some of the biggest companies in the industry such as Frontier, Sony and now the studio she co-founded: Triangular Pixels. Never afraid to give something new a go, Goode worked on augmented and virtual reality concepts during her time at Sony, and VR is now the focus of her work at Triangular Pixels.

A lifelong games fan, Diane Hutchinson entered the industry by producing video reviews for iPhone games. As a result of the quality of her work, she was then invited to run a gaming website – before starting her very own site, GirlGamersUK in 2009. GirlGamersUK has been Hutchinson’s life for the last six years, and will continue to be a part of her. But she says that the time has come for something new. And while she may not know what that is yet, she knows it will involve video games.

CATHY CAMPOS CAMPOS is one of the games industry’s most experienced PR professionals with 20 years in the business. Fifteen years ago, Campos founded Panache PR and has since worked with many of the industry’s top companies, including Lionhead, Media Molecule, Microsoft and EA. Campos says she never ceases to be amazed at the industry’s creativity. She adds that she is also delighted to see the number of women working in the industry grow year-on-year.


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JO TWIST “MY doctorate was about online communities and identity in the ‘90s and my career has been accidental,” says UKIE CEO Dr. Jo Twist. “I fell into journalism and covered the birth of YouTube, games in classrooms, avatars and their meatspace identities, eSports, Second Life, and nextgeneration consoles. “I genuinely am lucky to evangelise games 24/7, 365 days a year. I’ll continue to campaign for games to be considered as important culturally and economically as film, the arts, and ‘hi-tech’.”



CURRY has only been in the games industry for three years, but she has already made quite the impression. Her studio The Chinese Room has grown from three people to 15 and she has been nominated for a BAFTA. But it’s not all been good. “I’ve been sent death threats and told that a women has no place in this industry,” she recalls. “I quit once and then refused to leave because then the people who are so inexplicably full of hatred would have won. But I’m not going anywhere.”

KENT is deputy head of the games department at Teesside University, as well as director of the Animex Festival. While studying Illustration in 1997, Kent undertook a placement working on Shadowman at Acclaim and realised her future lay in games. After graduating, she joined the Pitbull Syndicate, going on to develop car racing titles for Accolade, Infogrammes, Atari and Midway. Following this, Kent spent several years on the committee for the world’s first Women in Games conference.

CLAUDIA DOPPIOSLASH DOPPIOSLASH joined Starship as a programmer in 2013 to work on CyberCook, the world’s first ‘hyper-realistic’ food simulator. She says that her move into the games industry was down to the N64 classic The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Known in programming circles for her undying love for obscure and mind-bending programming languages, she has not yet given up on using LISP, and functional languages to develop games. She likes to imagine what game AI should be, and might one day get around to implementing it.




OWER started in the games industry at Abertay University, where she joined with a startup to build games for education. Since then she has helped set up industry fundraiser Playmob and has raised almost $700,000 for good causes, with aims of reaching $1bn within a few years. “I love the creativity and innovation,” she says of her continued interest in the industry. ”Games are always ahead of the curve when it comes to innovation so that really sparked my interest.”

FIONA ‘Fee’ Stewart started her art career in the 1980s, working in publishing before going on to study fine art painting and printing. From there she learnt how to make 3D models, art assets and animation for games. In 2012, Fee and her team won the Glasgow Caledonian Global Game Jam. The same year, Fee became managing director for her own, multi-award-winning studio, Formerdroid, which has made games and animations for clients such as the BBC and Microsoft.

BEASLEY’S entry into the games market came by chance – aged 17 she applied for a job as a trainee contact lens technician, only to be offered a job at a new games firm set up by the interviewer six months later. She later moved across to publisher Mastertronic. “I had no other experience or training so I learnt on the job, working hard and having fun,” she recalls. “The experience left me hooked on the games industry.” She remains hooked – her firm Lincoln Beasley PR celebrates 20 years in business next month.

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ANN SCANTLEBURY IT may sound hard to believe given her now prominent position as the host of the One Life Left video games radio show, but Scantlebury never intended to have a career in games. “[Games journalist] Ste Curran wanted a female news reader for a few episodes of a radio show about games,” she recalls. “I knew nothing about games. “That was nine years ago. Since then we’ve recorded One Life Left around the world, hosted events like Marioke – and I even know what a Drivatar is.”



TAMSIN NUNLEY NOT many people can boast that their career involves a rock star and an interplanetary traveller – but Tamsin Nunley can, having worked with Blur drummer Dav Rowntree on promo work for the Beagle 2 lander. Three years later, Nunley wanted a change. And after positions at firms including Lionhead and Zynga, Nunley co-founded mobile game developer JiggeryPokery in 2013. “My ultimate goal is always to bring the player a moment of happiness and escape,” she says. “That’s what it all boils down to.”

LYNNE KILPATRICK OBE THE Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Lynne Kilpatrick has been a tireless supporter of the games industry at a Government level for years. She was instrumental in putting together the plan for video game tax relief, which was finally approved by the Government last year. And at the end of 2014, she was given an OBE as part of the New Year’s Honours List for her work in the games sector. The accolade joins the Develop Award she received for Services to Video Games in 2014.



STARTING as an office assistant for Skype in her native Estonia, Kaisa Poldaas moved to the UK in 2008 to take on the role of office manager for the same company. Since she has held similar roles at music company Songkick and software firm ZeroTurnaround, before joining mobile developer Space Ape Games in 2014 as operations manager. From large-scale company relocation programs to intimate fun-packed corporate events, Poldaas continues to put all her energy into every project.

AFTER working in digital design in the early part of her career – including handling web design for the Tate – developer Katherine Bidwell set up State of Play in 2008 with Luke Whittaker. At the start they were mostly making browser-based games and animations, then moved towards self-publishing their releases. “This industry has some of the friendliest bunch of people you could ever meet, and the creative process in developing the type of games we make is truly unique,” she says. “I wouldn’t be able to find it in any other industry.”

KATE BOOTH KATE Booth has worked with some of the biggest brands, agencies and non-profit firms across Europe, including Asda, the BBC and Disney, since she kicked off her career in 2000. As of 2011 she has served as operations director at indie studio Preloaded, guiding titles from concepts to full releases. Booth’s role is instrumental to maintaining great relationships with the firm’s clients and ensuring that the studio continues to function smoothly – which she manages with aplomb.



CENTRESOFT’S Margaret Pearson is an industry veteran in every sense of the word. Starting out at Nintendo UK in 1987, she joined Philips Media – and when that company bought LeisureSoft, Pearson was introduced to the world of distribution. In 1999 she joined CentreSoft and has since helped launch three PlayStation consoles and collected multiple awards for the distributor’s achievements. “Joining CentreSoft was the best decision I ever made,” she tells MCV.

IN 1988, Jo Cooke was deputy ad manager on CVG. She left in 1990 and, following a three-year stint at publisher Ocean Software as marketing manager, was offered the task of setting up Sims studio Maxis’ European division, which she ran until EA bought Maxis in 1997. She then worked in digital distribution and marketing, before joining Rising Star Games in 2011 as its marketing director. In January 2014, she took on the role of director of marketing at Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier Developments.

NINA CLIFF NINA Cliff started her career by helping to set-up GameHorizon, with the aim of promoting games companies from the North East of England. “As I didn’t get into games from a development background, I couldn’t believe the industry that lay behind the games I was playing,” she says of her desire to get involved. Since then, Cliff has gone on to hold a number of business development roles, and opened her own consultancy in 2010. She now works at indie developer Tag Games.


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DIVINIA KNOWLES KNOWLES is one of the driving forces behind British entertainment outlet Mind Candy, and was at the forefront of the company’s transformation from a small start-up based in Battersea to the global powerhouse behind kids phenomenon Moshi Monsters. The franchise now has more than 80 million online users and a wide range of tie-in products. Knowles currently serves as president of Mind Candy, sitting on the board of directors. She is also CFO and director, and is responsible for the company’s financial operations. A qualified management accountant, Knowles’ smart business sense has helped to guide Mind Candy since 2006, when she first started working with founder Michael Acton Smith. Her other areas of expertise include working with growing

start ups, driving sales growth, brand development, launching products, building market share and creating global distribution networks. During the past six years, Knowles has been responsible for monetising new products, building operational infrastructure and managing finances throughout both the highs and lows of the firm’s history. She has also overseen the business’s quickly growing recruitment programme. Outside of her work at Mind Candy, Knowles also serves as a mentor for both TechCity and CIMA, and often gives talks at conferences and events. She is also the founder and organiser of a networking group of more than 100 COOs from the London tech scene’s most influential start-ups.

Knowles was at the forefront of Mind Candy’s transformation from a small start-up to the powerhouse behind kids phenomenon Moshi Monsters.

KEZA MacDonald is one of the most recognisable journalists in the British games media. During her career she has helped build the UK presence of IGN, contributed to the likes of Eurogamer and, most recently, taken on the mantle of editor for the UK branch of Kotaku. “I joined the industry at a point where it felt like there were endless possibilities, and people are exploring those with all sorts of games now,” she says. “I get to write about them and those people, and tell those stories. It is an immense privilege.”




CAROLINE Miller was a survivor from the Virgin Games school of ‘work hard, play hard’. She left the company having worked her way up to international sales director and then began a shortlived stint at video game start-up Crave. It was here that she and Graeme Struthers put together a new PR agency, Indigo Pearl. “We wanted to be a PR agency offering tech solutions alongside the traditional agency offerings,” she says. “16 years later, we are still here, thriving in an industry that is almost unrecognisable from the one we started in.”

ANDERSON’S role as SVP of finance for Green Man Gaming combines two of her passions – games and numbers. After qualifying as an accountant, Anderson joined Eidos. She later moved to TakeTwo, before heading back to Eidos and becoming part of the transition to Square Enix. Three years ago, Anderson became financial controller for GMG, before moving to her current position. One of Anderson’s proudest moments also involves numbers – her 72,900 Gamerscore.

LYNN Daniel started out at Interplay, doing PR for Fallout and Baldur’s Gate, and went on to work at Atari and Sega Europe as head of communications and director of PR respectively. At Sega, Daniel grew the firm’s business, as well as its EU team and territory PR teams over the course of eight years. In 2014, Daniel used her experience to set up Brown Betty, her own PR, communications and marketing firm. There she has handled campaigns for the likes of Space Ape, TIGA, Square Enix and 2K Games.

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KAYE ELLING KAYE Elling is the head of games, animation and VFX at the University of Bradford. Before this, she spent 13 years working as a character artist and art manager for companies including Infogrames and Sony. She has created 3D graphics and led teams of artists and animators on franchises including Premier Manager, Bratz and the Encleverment Experiment. On top of this, Elling is passionately committed to raising awareness of development as a viable career option.



SHANEE NISHRY SHANEE Nishry may very well be one of the smartest developers in the industry, teaching herself programming as a ‘fun side project’ to her biotechnology degree. Following this she made her own game engine, and showcased the tech behind it on YouTube. Shortly after, she started her own studio, SideKick. Now she works for Google as a developer advocate, ensuring that Android is as good a platform for game creators as possible.

KIM PARKER ADCOCK IN 1998 Kim Parker Adcock found herself homeless, jobless and a single mother supporting three children. But using her experience and connections in the games industry, within six weeks she had started her own recruitment firm, OPM Response. Since then the company has grown, with over 22,500 candidates registering since its inception. She says that without the five offers of finance she had from the games industry all those years ago, she wouldn’t be here.



FOLLOWING her position as GM of Activision in the UK, Noirin Carmody decided to found her own studio, Revolution, in 1990. The outlet produced the Broken Sword series, which has now sold more than 4m units. Anticipating the rising digital market, Carmody directed Revolution to move from big teams to smaller ones in order to be more flexible, and in 2009 Revolution was one of the first companies to enter the digital publishing market. She is also a voting member at BAFTA and an elected board member for UKIE.

FOR over 15 years, Nina Kristensen has been at the studio she helped set up, Ninja Theory – previously known as Just Add Monsters – as its chief development ‘Ninja’. During this time she has helped the studio produce its ambitious new IP, including Heavenly Sword and the upcoming Hellblade, as well as its take on the established franchise Devil May Cry. Last year, the studio also offered a helping hand with toys-to-life brand Disney Infinity.

MARIA STUKOFF MARIA Stukoff has been a huge advocate for video games education. Since 2009 she has been the head of academic development for the PlayStation First programme, working with universities to assist in raising the next generation of PlayStation developers. In 2013 she became governor of The Liverpool Studio School, a new type of school aimed at providing young people with an education in gaming. She is also a board member of the Creative Skillset council.



FROM an early age, Rare’s Louise O’Connor was fascinated by animation, making stopmotion videos with her dolls. She joined Rare 16 years ago and Conker’s Bad Fur Day was her first project. She’s stayed with the company since and has risen up the ranks – now managing the incubation team. “I’m still in the same studio, and my career has progressed. I’ve had amazing opportunities and experiences in my time,” O’Connor says. “I’ve animated everything from a drunk squirrel to a dancing tortoise.”

RAMZAN’S final university project focused on the relationship between players and games. Presenting her results at an international conference, she got her first taste of being an academic – and loved it. On her return, Ramzan applied for a Masters in games, before securing a fully funded PhD. For the last six years alongside her PhD, Ramzan has worked to make the Scottish Game jam – which she founded – a flagship event in the games calendar. She is also on the board of directors for the Global Game Jam.

KIRSTIN WHITTLE SINCE 1992 Kirstin Whittle has worked for some of the biggest names in gaming, including Warner and SCEE, specialising in business development, account and project management. Now she works at QA firm VMC in business development. “What I love about my job is the constant evolution of both products and processes,” she explains. “Whether it’s new technology, wearables, or services like VMC’s Global Beta Test Network, a program that will redefine product support.”


January 30th 2015


VICKIE PEGGS VICKIE Peggs started her games career back in 1999 at Brightonbased developer Wide Games, working on the Codemasterspublished Prisoners of War. From there she made the cross over into publishing, initially to BritSoft firm Empire Interactive. In 2002 she left publishing to launch her own localisation and QA division, the TIGA-award winning Universally Speaking, which she remains in control of. Alongside this, she consults and invests in other areas of the video games market.



RAWLINGS is currently the director of operations for development studio and consultancy firm Auroch Digital. Multi-talented, Rawlings’ responsibilies at the outlet include HR, marketing and publicity, production, business development and finance. Keenly involved with the community in Bristol and the South West, Rawlings is the director and co-founder of Bristol Games Hub, and is currently working to produce the Bristol 2015 Green Capital Digital Challenge.

HAVING completed her degree in geological engineering but not wishing to pursue a career in that field, Osman started at Herald Communications/Fleishman Hillard as a temp, before being offered a full time position on the consumer tech team. Osman highlights getting Jonathan Ross into a Saints Row IV lowrider as one of the most memorable moments of her career. Osman formed Lick PR with fellow ex-Lunch PR members Lucy Starvis, Ian Dickson and Colette Barr last year.

JADE PARKINSON-HILL Following the Next Gen Skills Review in 2011, Parkinson-Hill led the bid to open the first Studio school in the UK, specialising in gaming and tech for young people aged 14 to 19. The Studio opened in Liverpool in 2013. Parkinson-Hill has since worked with key industry stakeholders to co-create a curriculum that ensures Studio students graduate ready for a career in the industry. Now in its second year, Studio partners include the likes of PlayStation First, Lucid Games, Ripstone and Starship.




“WHEN I first set foot in the games industry back in the mid-1990s, I had no idea what an amazing path I was going to travel,” says Lidia Rumley. Since then, Rumley has worked with some of the most iconic franchises in entertainment, from Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry and Burnout to Harry Potter, James Bond, FIFA and Tiger Woods. She left the publishing world behind in 2013 to set up Light Switch PR, which aims to maximise PR budgets that have tightened as the industry changed.

NATALIE Griffith’s career has taken her all over the industry. Starting as a graphic designer for Club Nintendo in 1991, then spending two years at Codemasters, Griffith was later asked to edit and re-launch Official Nintendo Magazine Australia. Five years on, she was instrumental in establishing the PR team for Blitz Games. From 2012 to 2013 she worked as director at Lincoln Beasley PR, before setting up her own firm Press Space to help indie developers with PR training and mentoring.

THILLMANN’S career began outside of games, where she spent a substantial amount of time honing her skills and experience in fraud prevention and payments. With this as her foundation, Thillmann says it was a ‘natural fit’ to then move into games. She joined Green Man Gaming two years ago in its fraud department despite “not really knowing the difference between MMO and FPS”. But since then, her understanding of the business – and passion for gaming – has flourished.

January 30th 2015

MITU KHANDAKER-KOKORIS MITU Khandaker-Kokoris is the founder of indie microstudio The Tiniest Shark, best known for sci-fi parody life-sim Redshirt for PC and iPad. She is also completing a PhD at the University of Portsmouth, studying physical game controllers and aesthetics. In 2013, she was named a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit. She is currently working on her second title at the Tiniest Shark, and hopes to be able to grow her studio and to keep creating refreshing, quirky and thoughtful games.




CAT CHANNON “MY first job was at an independent games exchange – I was surrounded by a library of games old and new that I could play almost all day, every day. “From there I moved to in-store marketing, working on numerous brands including some longstanding ones like PlayStation – and some names not so familiar these days like Microprose, GTI and Hasbro. “While working as a rep I was scouted by Sky’s GamesWorld to become a [enemy character] Videator, beating small children at video games on international TV. “Next, I scored a job at Official PlayStation Magazine, which set me on the path to PR, via numerous other TV, radio and newspaper gigs. “For nearly a decade I worked with numerous talented people in the industry, meeting my gaming heroes, eventually

LYNN PARKER LYNN Parker is a gamer at heart and works to educate the next generation of developers. She is the programme leader for BA computer arts at Abertay University, and is creatively active, producing interactive experiences that fuse interactivity, digital media, the body and performance space. Her practical work leads her research activity as part of Abertay Game Lab in the School of Arts, Media and Computer Games. “It’s is a privilege to support and inspire the next generation of developers,” she says.

starting on a PR path at Bam! Entertainment and moving onto Take-Two, Vivendi and Blizzard, before taking a sojourn back to journalism at Eurogamer, and then using my online experience to head up international comms at NCSoft. “I finally arrived at my current role at Warner Bros, and now work across some of the most phenomenal gaming brands in the industry. “Without a doubt, working with GamesAid has been one of my proudest moments; I’m honoured to have been a trustee in the company of some of the most talented, driven and actionorientated people in the industry. “I’d like to continue my work with GamesAid and have recently been working closely with Warner’s corporate responsibility department to learn more about this area of our business.”

I’m honoured to have been a GamesAid trustee in the company of some of the most talented, driven and action-orientated people in the industry.

STARTING out by making Quake conversions, Marsh broke into the industry with a role at Sony’s Camden Studio working as a junior game designer on PS1 titles. Marsh says she is most proud of having set up the mobile studio Lady Shotgun and shipping the firm’s first title Buddha Finger. Marsh, alongside other members of Lady Shotgun, went onto form Tickity Boom, which has begun to gather momentum in just a few months as part of a Microsoft Ventures Accelerator.



MARIE-CLAIRE Isaaman is Norwich University of the Arts’ games, art and design course leader, and is a powerhouse in the games education scene. She has ensured the course at NUA proactively encourages young women into a career in games. She has also researched and developed a dynamic course curriculum by establishing close links with commercial studios, cultural institutions and other academic partners. She is additionally research-active, working at the epicentre of a growing creative field.

FEARNLEY cut her teeth in the games industry promoting the computer games trade show ECTS and the consumer electronics exhibition Live in the late 1990s through to the early 2000s. She dipped out of the games sector for three years, heading up a team at events firm Centaur Exhibitions responsible for promoting trade shows. Now conference director for Tandem Events, Fearnley leads the organisation and promotion of a range of games events including Develop in Brighton.

MASAMI KOCHI SONY London Studio creative director Masami Kochi has been a force within the casual gaming space on console for years. After graduating with a degree in product design from Tokyo’s Tama Art University, Kochi went to work for Konami and helped create the Beatmania series before joining Sony. There she worked on the BAFTA-winning and multiplatinum EyeToy peripheral, later pitching what would become Sony’s Wonderbook AR series.


January 30th 2015



CHARLOTTE KNIGHT How did your career in games get started? I started as a PA. After various jobs in other fields, I realised that I wanted to be involved in the commercial side of the games industry. I then took up a role as a junior buyer, loved it and started forming great relationships within the industry that have stayed with me throughout my career. I decided I wanted my career to be in gaming and over the course of the next few years I embraced new opportunities within commercial that gave me a full view of the business, leading to my current role as category director. What convinced you to get involved with the games industry? The amazing content and the fast-paced nature of the market

drew me into the industry and suited my personality really well. Being on the retail side, I have enjoyed being at the forefront of many exciting developments, from the new consoles to the ever more sophisticated gaming releases and the regularity of new IP developments. What have been your biggest achievements? Although a bit of a cliché, I am a true example of somebody who started at the bottom and worked my way through a succession of roles. I am very proud that my career path has now led me to my current role, which I love and brings constant reward and a few challenges. This past year has been a real highlight and I am extremely proud to be part of a company that has achieved so much in a relatively short space of time.

Being on the retail side of the games industry, I have enjoyed being at the forefront of many exciting developments.

IN 1999, Lallier took a one-year internship at Ubisoft France as a marketing assistant and her games career began. At Take-Two France, she helped launch Grand Theft Auto: Vice City – PlayStation’s biggest-ever day one release in the country. Following a stint at NCSoft, Lallier now works for Warner Bros, handling digital publishing and building programmes based on consumer data to improve gameplay, as well as playing a part in customer acquisition, retention and monetisation.




26 years ago, Payne entered the games industry at Codemasters in the days of the Spectrum and Atari ST. “Jim Darling said in my interview for Codemasters: ‘You don’t have to be white, male, over 30 with a degree to get on in games; you just need to be good.’ I was hooked,” she recalls. Having witnessed the birth of NES and Master System, Payne went on to work at Mindscape and Activision, before setting up her own games agency with PR expert Rich Eddy. She now works with charity SpecialEffect.

A PR graduate from Bournemouth University, Turner began her career at the Euro HQ of Disney working on the likes of High School Musical. Moving north-west, she took on various PR roles before becoming global marketing manager for indie publisher Ripstone in 2012, where she handles all the firm’s titles. “Whilst the highlights of working at a company like Disney are more obvious, achieving small successes for our indie developers can feel a lot more exciting,” she tells MCV.

AFTER more than seven years as head of sector development at Codeworks, Cunliffe founded and served as conference director for GameHorizon. In 2011 she then became MD of events firm Secret Sauce. The outlet has since worked with companies including Sony, Unreal and Pitbull Studio. Renowned for her innovative and detailed events, as well as skilled management of exhibitions, product launches and dinners, Cunliffe is considered one of the leaders of the games events space.

January 30th 2015

ANGELA DICKSON SINCE joining Activision as senior account manager in 2005, Dickson has held a number of broad roles in the business including channel director, market operations director and, now, sales director. Predominantly working within the sales function, she also spent two years heading up the UK and Ireland trade marketing and business intelligence teams, where she led the creation of the UK Activision category strategy – transforming the way the firm’s games are launched and perceived at retail.



TARA SAUNDERS SAUNDERS started in the games industry alongside the launch of the PlayStation 2 in 2000, fresh from graduating with an MA in computer animation. She joined Sony’s London Studio as a junior animator working on The Getaway, and has remained a long-standing member of the outlet. Saunders now works as studio art director, and is responsible for the art discipline across all of the developer’s projects.

CATHERINE WOOLLEY WOOLLEY credits her twin sister Charlotte with giving her the nudge to study games design at the University of Wales. Post-graduation, Woolley moved to Aldershot to boost her chances of getting a job in games. It worked – under a month later she started at EA. She then moved to Creative Assembly, becoming senior designer last year. Woolley says her latest title – Alien: Isolation – is her proudest achievement so far.



TIMIANI-DEAN’S language degree landed her a place working in the kids and educational division for the CD-I at Philips Media Interactive. From there, she moved briefly to SCEE, before spending ‘many happy years’ at Eidos. In 2007 came the opportunity to work in Disney’s Interactive group. Timiani-Dean says her role at Disney has offered her some of the most challenging and complex work of her career.

WOOLLEY’S career as a tester began just under five years ago at Testology. As she puts it: “My sister was already a games designer at the time; I loved games so much that I needed to be a part of them too.” Within a week or so of being at the firm, Woolley was sent off to work on LittleBigPlanet 2 at Media Molecule’s studio. “We have a lot of women working at Testology now; they make the best testers,” she jokes.

SOPHIA GEORGE SHORTLY after she completed work on student project Tick Tock Toys, George secured a role at the V&A in London as the establishment’s first game designer in residence. One particular point of pride for George is her game, Strawberry Thief, which came out last year – as well as becoming a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2013. She now works with primary schools in Dundee, focusing on the creative side to games.



LAVERS Mallet joined the games industry after graduating from business school at MIT Sloan. Driven by an interest in creative teams, Lavers Mallet moved to the newly EA-acquired Playfish as product manager in 2010. She then moved across to mobile outlet King, building the company’s London Studio and overseeing the development and launch of Farm Heroes Saga, which has been a strong contributor to the firm’s growth.

CROSS’ games career started in 2004, when she joined Blitz Games to establish and lead its ‘People Strategy’. More than 10 years later, she is still passionate about the industry and developing people. Cross is currently involved in project work for The Next Gen Skills Academy, where she aims to further support the growth of the talent pipeline into games via new routes.

CHARU DESODT DESODT is a senior producer at Microsoft’s Lift London Studio. She previously created the prototype that evolved into the hit PS2 and PS3 series SingStar; in June 2014 the title was listed as one of the Top 30 British games ever produced. “As games gain relevance and recognition, I want to connect and collaborate across industries and cultures to explore their potential beyond entertainment,” she says.




Market Data In spite of a few small new releases, the market is still declining in value and sales



£13m 454,477 units

£9m 331,295 units

£8m 321,949 units


Capcom’s Molant (left) and Davies (above) are motivated for 2015

Week Ending Week Ending Week Ending Jan 10th Jan 17th Jan 24th





Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare




Saints Row IV: Re-Elected/Gat out of Hell


Call of Duty: Ghosts


Far Cry 4


Minecraft: Xbox Edition


Rugby 15


Minecraft: PlayStation Edition


The Crew

ROCKSTAR Activision Blizzard

Activision Blizzard Ubisoft Microsoft Koch Media Sony Ubisoft




Amiibo Wario (Wii U)



Amiibo Ness (Wii U)



Amiibo Pac-Man (Wii U)



Amiibo Lucina (Xbox One)



Amiibo Robin (Wii U)



Mario Party + Mario Amiibo Figure (Wii U)



Amiibo Toad (Wii U)



Amiibo Mega Man (Wii U)



Amiibo Sonic (Wii U)


January 30th 2015

New Resident Evil, Street Fighter just the beginning, says UK team by Christopher Dring

EA Deep Silver



Streamlined Capcom team fired up for 2015 comeback BUOYANT Capcom says it is now in a ‘better place’ as it prepares for its 2015 comeback. The firm underwent a major restructure in 2013 after lower than expected sales of DMC: Devil May Cry and Resident Evil 6. As a result the firm has published very few games in the last 18 month. But that all changes this year, with multiple new Resident Evil games, a PS4 and Xbox One version of DMC: Devil May Cry plus more news on the anticipated arrival of Street Fighter V. “The chairman of our company realised that we weren’t trading on the seal of quality we used to, so we decided to rejig development but do it at a time when the new formats were coming through and install bases are low,” explains Capcom’s commercial director Andy Davies. “Well, that was the theory, no-one saw those consoles coming out of the gates like they did.” Head of marketing Antoine Molant added: “We had a more rigid structure


back in the day, harder to adapt and less flexible. Today we are leaner, and that means the same team that deals with the development in Japan also directly deals with the market, and they have an understanding of all aspects of marketing, sales, development etcetera. And that makes us stronger.” The firm says it’s now focused on releasing fewer but high quality products and not wasting time on ‘me-too’ titles. And the result is a motivated team, relieved to come out from a year of challenges, said Davies. “A lot of the people who are here now were here before the restructure happened, so just getting through that process motivates everyone now that we have product coming through,” he added. “But it’s also knowing that the product is well designed – we are only trying to bring decent product to market. We have a solid mid-term strategy with the physical market, the digital stuff and everything else in between, and everything has been streamlined in the business - it is all re-focused and it is a much better place.”



Team 17’s The Escapists gets physical by Alex Calvin TEAM 17’S indie prison title The Escapists is going to be available as a boxed product for both PC and Xbox One. The two SKUs will be released on February 13th, the same day as the game launches digitally on Xbox Live. The physical release is being handled by Sold Out.

The PC physical SKU will set consumers back £19.99, while the PC release will cost £14.99. The Escapists has been developed by one-man studio Mouldy Toof, and is being published by Team 17. It’s already available on PC via Steam and was announced for Xbox One during Microsoft’s Gamescom press conference. It was named best UK game of the show.



t’s our Women in Games issue, which made writing this column pretty difficult. I’m aware of what I look like: a slightly tubby, white, male gamer. I look more like one of those forum dwellers that seem to think diversity is just a dance troupe and that GamerGate really was about ethics in journalism. I certainly don’t look like someone that should be anywhere near any list about the top women in games. But I do believe the number of women in top roles in this industry is not good enough. I’m saying that partially for selfish reasons; I’d probably enjoy my games more if someone would dial down the testosterone a bit. In theory, more diversity in our industry means a greater variety of genres, stories and characters; so more women making more games can only be a good thing, for everyone. I also wouldn’t even be here, writing at MCV, if it weren’t for two women in particular. My first boss in games was Vickie Peggs at Universally Speaking (she’s on page 12), who taught me the ways of the industry before I was hired by Lisa Carter to join MCV.

Japanese publisher Idea Factory enters European games market by Alex Calvin JAPANESE publisher and developer Idea Factory has set up shop in Europe. The firm has opened an office in Croydon, and will be handling the marketing and PR of its games at European retail, including the UK. Prior to this, Idea Factory’s games were published in Europe by companies such as NIS America and Rising Star Games. The first title to be released is its RPG Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth 2 for the PlayStation Vita, which will launch on February 6th. “We’re very excited about our first retail launch in Europe. Since our first digital release, we’ve received loads of requests from European fans for retail


CEO Akenaga says Idea Factory has seen demand for boxed games

versions, so we are very happy to be able to answer our fans’ requests,” Idea Factory International CEO Haru Akenaga told MCV. “Moving forward we will continue to bring our titles to the EU market in physical form.” Reef Entertainment will be distributing Idea Factory’s games in Europe.


More women making more games can only be a good thing. Did the fact I had female bosses help me progress in this industry? I don’t know. But I do know I wouldn’t have made it this far if it wasn’t for Vickie and Lisa. The truth is: I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated industry. I haven’t been told I can’t ‘have a go next’ by a sibling or colleague, and haven’t been harassed or viewed differently because I’m a man. But what I do know is that women in this industry have directly benefitted me. The good news, as the last 15 pages ably demonstrated, is that this industry has some brilliant female artists, coders, marketers, PRs, journalists, MDs, division heads, experts and pioneers. Many have been here since the beginning. Many have contributed in unmeasurable ways to our industry’s success. Actually, that was pretty easy to write.

Read and remember these stats so you can sound clever at the next Monday morning meeting...





EA generated $1.1bn in GAAP revenue during the quarter ending December 31st 2014. $541m of this was digital sales

Legend of Zelda and Dynasty Warriors crossover title Hyrule Warriors has shipped 1m copies internationally, according to Koei Tecmo

Microsoft has announced that it sold 6.6m Xbox consoles – both Xbox One and 360 – in the last quarter of 2014

The standalone version of zombie Steam Early Access title DayZ has sold three million copies since it launched in December 2013


PDP design & manufacture the Afterglow Communicator PlayStation January 30th 2015





z Ceremony takes place on February 19th

Christopher Dring Editor

Michael French Publisher

in London at the Ham Yard Hotel, near Piccadilly Tube

z Networking afternoon and awards event z Honouring our Top 100 and giving three special awards to outstanding individuals

Ben Parfitt Associate Editor

Alex Boucher Group Sales Manager

z Tickets cost £65 + VAT each and include pre- and post-event drinks plus theatre-seating awards ceremony

z Sponsorship opportunities still available

Alex Calvin Staff Writer

Conor Tallon Account Manager

Matt Jarvis Staff Writer

Sam Richwood Designer

Production Executive: Elizabeth Parker

Finance Manager: Michael Canham

Head of Operations: Stuart Moody

Head of Design and Production: Kelly Sambridge

Circulation: Lianne Davey

guaranteeing exposure and involvement in our Women In Games activity throughout February


Saxon House, 6a St. Andrew Street, Hertford, Hertfordshire, England SG14 1JA Newbay Media specialises in tradededicated print and digital publishing for entertainment and leisure markets. As well as MCV, Newbay publishes Develop, PCR, ToyNews, Music Week, MI Pro, Audio Pro International and BikeBiz. It also has two onlineonly brands: Mobile Entertainment, dedicated to the growing mass market smartphone sector, and, for everyone in the global licensing industry. It also runs a number of events including the MCV Industry Excellence Awards, the London Games Conference and the Games Media Awards.

US Correspondent Erik Johnson

© Newbay Media 2015 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage or retrieval system without the express prior written consent of the publisher. The contents of MCV are subject to reproduction in information storage and retrieval systems.

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ISSN: 1469-4832 Copyright 2015

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MCV is a member of the Periodical Publishers Association. For the 12 months ending December 2009, MCV had an average weekly net circulation of 8,045. MCV’s circulation is 100 per cent named and zero per cent duplicated.

THE RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD MCV takes soundings from its Retail Advisory Board on the biggest issues in the industry. The current members are...

Charlotte Knight GAME

Steve Moore Simply Games

Jon Hayes Tesco

Ketu Patel Amazon

Sarah Jasper The Hut

Phil Moore Grainger Games

David Firth Shop Direct

Don McCabe CHIPS

Gurdeep Hunjan Sainsbury’s

Steve Thomas Xbite

Simon Urquhart Microsoft

Robert Lindsay Games Centre

Igor Cipolletta ShopTo

Dermot Stapleton Get Games

Niall Lawlor GameStop

Phil Browes HMV

Stephen Staley Robert Hennessy Gameseek John Lewis

Paul Sulyok Green Man

James Cooke Argos

Craig Watson Dixons Retail

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January 30th 2015




SEGA EUROPE’S FARR JOINS XBOX UK Farr takes on head of content and services role OLawrence leaves 2K Games OThomas joins Twitch XBOX UK | Sega’s European marketing director AMANDA FARR is moving to Xbox UK. Farr will be serving as head of Xbox content and services in the UK from March 2nd, and will be reporting to Xbox UK director of marketing HARVEY EAGLE. She will be overseeing the management of Microsoft games and Xbox Live, and will be partnering with third-party publishers on co-marketing their games on Xbox consoles. Farr has worked at Sega since 2009, starting as the UK marketing director before being promoted to European marketing director in 2012.

“I am delighted to be joining the Xbox team at this incredibly exciting time, and to work with Microsoft’s partners delivering the best content and experiences,” said Farr. Eagle added: “It’s a fantastic time to welcome Amanda to the team as we prepare to bring an amazing line-up of games and other content in 2015.”

2K’s upcoming shooter Evolve. Lawrence has nine years of PR experience having worked at Activision and Tecmo Koei before joining 2K in 2010. His can now be reached at Meanwhile, UK product manager DAN COOKE (above) has been promoted to export marketing manager. In this new role, Cooke will be responsible for marketing in export regions including Scandinavia, Italy, and will report to head of marketing for UK and export SIMON TURNER. Cooke joined 2K in 2010 and helped launch several huge titles for the publisher, including Borderlands 2 and BioShock Infinite.

2K GAMES | The publisher’s head of UK PR BEN LAWRENCE (left) has left the firm. He has moved to PR company Brown Betty as account director. Here he will be working on

“I can’t wait to get started and I am looking forward to developing our business in some key growth markets,” Cooke said. “I’m thrilled to be promoted, which I feel is recognition of the successful job I did in the UK.” TWITCH | Account director CHRIS THOMAS has departed GameSpot. He has taken on the role of account manager at streaming firm Twitch. Thomas joined GameSpot in 2011. Prior to that he managed advertising and sales at VideoGamer parent Pro-G.

AROUND THE INDUSTRY MAG INTERACTIVE | The Swedish developer has invested in new Brighton-based studio Delinquent, set up by former PopCap senior game designer David Bishop. The firm will focus on casual mobile titles and houses 12 employees who have previously worked at the likes of EA, Activision and Relentless. Its first title is set for a March release.

Key Account Manager Ubisoft are one of the leading video games developers and publishers in the World. We are looking for an experienced sales professional to join our award winning UK and Ireland sales team based in Guildford. The successful candidate will be responsible for managing our relationship with several key retail partners to deliver growth across both our physical and digital portfolios. If you are interested in a new role within the exciting video games industry please send your CV and a covering letter to Gillian Whipp ( or post to Gillian Whipp, Ubisoft, 3rd Floor, Ranger House, Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, GU1 4UL.

ROBOTOKI | The US developer has been forced to close its doors after it failed to negotiate a new publishing deal for its upcoming online multiplayer game Human Element. This follows publisher Nexon cutting ties with Robotoki after it changed Human Element from being a free-to-play game to a premium one.


PLAYHUBS | A new workspace where video game start-ups can train has been opened in London by a group of industry veterans. The scheme – called PlayHubs – has been founded by David Gardner, David LauKee, Paul Heydon, Chris Lee and Nisha Valand. The space will offer start-up companies desk space, Wi-Fi and the chance to meet with experts and investors. PlayHubs is located at Somerset House in London. DEFY MEDIA | There have been a number of layoffs at multiple of gaming websites owned by Defy Media. Gaming publications The Escapist, GameTrailers and GameFront have all been hit by job cuts. Those affected include Escapist editor-inchief Greg Tito.

January 30th 2015


Sponsored by


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BOARD AND CARD GAMES Many virtual properties have found themselves transformed into real-world board and card game adaptations. Matthew Jarvis takes a look at six of the best




This board game adaptation of the hit shooter features iconic elements such as the Skyline and Songbird.

Based on the legendary PC series, this game sees players assume control of a famous historical leader and fight for global control.

Fighting fans can take on the roles of Ryu, Ken, Chun-Lie, Balrog, M Bison and other Street Fighter staples in this card game.

SRP: £69.99 Manufacturer: Plaid Hat Games Distributor: Plaid Hat Games Contact:

SRP: £49.99 Manufacturer: Fantasy Flight Games Distributor: Esdevium Games Contact: 01420 593 593

SRP: £32.99 Manufacturer: Cryptozoic Entertainment Distributor: Esdevium Games Contact: 01420 593 593




This retro-styled title is made for those who love classic video games. Two to four players compete to build the best side-scrolling dungeon – and kill any heroes in the way.

PopCap’s shrubs-versus-shufflers franchise comes to the iconic tabletop game of global domination. Two players can face off in a variety of game modes.

Up to four players must try and fight back the alien tide in this take on the 2012 scifi strategy series reboot, utilising a free companion app to enhance the game .

SRP: £19.99 Manufacturer: Brotherwise Games Distributor: Esdevium Games Contact: 01420 593 593

SRP: £29.99 Manufacturer: USAopoly Distributor: Winning Moves UK Contact: 0207 262 9696

SRP: £44.99 Manufacturer: Fantasy Flight Games Distributor: Esdevium Games Contact: 01420 593 593

January 30th 2015



Sponsored by

HOT PRODUCTS MCV takes a look at the best accessories heading to UK retail. This week, we have a sneaky listen to Stealth’s latest headset and pick up a new GameCube controller

STEALTH SX-01 STEREO GAMING HEADSET FOR XBOX ONE & 360 FOR Xbox players looking to maintain contact with their friends and enemies while playing online, Stealth is offering its latest gaming headset. The Stealth SX-01 features 40mm dynamic speaker drivers, contained within comfort-fitted ear cushions. An adjustable padded headband keeps the set comfortable atop gamers’ heads. The integrated microphone is designed with a flexible boom – meaning players can position the mic in the optimum chatting position, or fold it out of the way completely. The Stealth SX-01 is compatible with both Xbox One and Xbox 360. Dual in-line volume control is built into the headset’s anti-tangle flat cable to allow players to

adjust the volume of both game and chat audio to their preference. For example, firstperson shooter fans can turn down chat temporarily for a tactical advantage. Power and mute indicators are also built into the headset, allowing players to see when their outgoing audio has been shut off. An integrated amp is also included.

[INFO] RRP: £25 Release Date: January 30th Distributor: Advantage Contact: 0121 506 9585

SUPER SMASH BROS PIKACHU WII U CONTROLLER THIS officially licensed Super Smash Bros controller is the ideal peripheral for fans of Nintendo’s fighting game looking for a GameCube-like playing experience. The controller connects to the Wii U via a Wii Remote, and adopts the same shape, button sizes and layout as the pad for Nintendo’s GameCube console. It is compatible with Super Smash Bros for Wii U and any other games that support the Wii U Classic Controller. Plus, there have been some additions. Three turbo functions are present, selectable using an integrated switch. The settings include the option to repeat button presses automatically every five, 10 or 20 seconds – potentially offering


Super Smash Bros players using this pad the upper hand. The controller also has two back triggers on each side, to mimic the L, R, ZR and ZL functionality of the Wii U Pad. The controller is finished in a vivid yellow to match that of iconic Pokémon Pikachu, and includes a black silhouette of the sparky creature.

[INFO] RRP: £25 Release Date: February 27th Distributor: Hori Contact:

January 30th 2015


MCV DIRECTORY KEY CONTACTS Sony DADC ............................................ +44 (0) 207 462 6200

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£70 per two column box (100mm x 75mm). To run weekly for a minimum of 1 year. Please phone for other size and/or position requirements.

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Tel: +44 (0) 1202 489500

January 30th 2015









Artworking Mastertronic Brand Identity Ukie Localisation Rising Star Games Advertising BBFC Website Design Deep Silver Exhibition Bethesda Illustration Just Flight Appynation Digital Media IntentMedia Charity GamesAid Banners & Takeovers Konami Packaging Design Just Flight Email: CREATIVE DISTRIBUTION

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January 30th 2015






New accessories for use with PS4™ Twin Docking Station

Thumb Grips

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Tel: +44 (0)1763 284181 January 30th 2015


Venom UK Gaming @VenomGamingUK

w w w. v e n o m u k . c o m





WHO? Specialism: Charity/Accessibility Location: The Stable Block, Cornbury Park, Charlbury, Oxfordshire, OX7 3EH

Develop is the only dedicated publication for the UK and European games development community. It reaches over 8,500 subscribers every month.

SpecialEffect’s Mark Saville talks about the charity’s work helping those with disabilities play video games


Tell us about your charity. SpecialEffect is the gamers’ charity. We’re putting fun and inclusion back into the lives of people with physical disabilities by helping them to play video games. By using technology ranging from modified games controllers to eye-control, we’re bringing families and friends together and having a profoundly positive impact on confidence and rehabilitation.

THIS MONTH’S DIRECTORY SPOTLIGHT: Epic Games ..................................................

What is your biggest success to date? The amount of difference we’ve made to the lives of so many people with disabilities. We never tire of sharing their joy and excitement from being able to join in the action, rather than simply having to sit and watch other people having all the fun. What projects do you currently have in the works? Apart from our ongoing commitment to build up our loan library of accessible and modified gaming equipment, we’re working on projects with real potential for people with disabilities. What are the biggest challenges you face? Apart from fundraising, the biggest challenge is raising awareness of the beneficial impact that accessible gaming can have, not only for the people we support, but also for developers and publishers who To be included in the Develop Directory (which appears every month in Develop and now every week in MCV) contact

We’re bringing families and friends together and having a profoundly positive impact. can potentially sell more titles as a result. Tell us something about your charity no one knows. We’re lining up the Wurzels to play a fundraising gig for us in 2015. How did you choose your charity name? Before we started, our CEO Dr Mick Donegan introduced a very severely disabled young boy to a computer that let him play music just by moving his eyes. He’s always described the boy’s look of amazement as the SpecialEffect moment.



Contact: E: W: P: 01608 810 055 T: @specialeffect


January 30th 2015


INTERNATIONAL FACTFILE: POLAND Population: 38,483,957 Capital City: Warsaw Currency: Złoty GDP (Per Capita): $13,334 KEY RETAILERS Empik,, Gry Online, Media Markt, Toys R Us,, Sklep Gram

TOP DEVELOPERS CD Projekt, Wargaming, Epic Games Poland, Techland, Flying Wild Hog, CI Games

TOP DISTRIBUTORS CD Projekt, Cenega, Galapagos, LEM

PUBLISHERS IN THE REGION CI Games, Codemasters, EA, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Ubisoft

DESPITE Polish consumers spending more on games purchases than the rest of Eastern Europe, the country’s games retail industry remains afflicted by rampant piracy. According to research firm Newzoo, Poland comprises a fifth of the Eastern European digital games market, generating more than $311 million during 2014. Although a high rate of disposable income among Polish players leads them to spend more on average per purchase – $3.96 – than any other country in Eastern Europe, the average monthly amount spent in total by Polish gamers is actually the second-smallest amount in the region – $17.57 – behind Ukraine. This suggests that players in Poland spend less frequently than their Eastern European neighbours, but in larger amounts. This is supported by

Newzoo’s estimate that Polish consumers spend money on games around 4.4 times a month on average – the lowest frequency of any country in Eastern Europe. Titles cost slightly less than they do in the UK, with prices sitting around 220zł – or £40. But games are still a premium, with the average Polish consumer only earning 3117zł (£550) a month. This may explain why Polska, an investment project headed by the Polish government’s trade and investment section, found that of Poland’s 12 million players, only 53 per cent spend money on games. There is also a high level of video game piracy in the region. A 2009 Entertainment Software Association report found that Poland was the ninth largest country worldwide in terms of pirated game volumes, with 2.75 per cent of global pirated video games originating in the country.

Polish players spend more per purchase than any other Eastern European country.

January 30th 2015




MEANWHILE IN... AUSTRALIA The co-creator of indie hit Hotline Miami has told Australian fans to pirate the game’s sequel after it was banned by authorities IT seems that developers may not be opposed to piracy in all situations, if a recent example from the co-creator of visceral indie success Hotline Miami is anything to go by. Following the news that the Australian Classification Board had refused to classify Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, citing concerns about sexual violence in one of the game’s cutscenes, and thereby effectively banning it from sale, Jonatan Söderström told a fan in the country to illegally download the title instead. “If it ends up not being released in Australia, just pirate it after release,” he wrote in an email, which


was then circulated online. “No need to send us any money, just enjoy the game.” Publisher Devolver Digital supported Söderström’s comments, criticising the ACB. “Though we have no

plans to officially challenge the ruling, we stand by our developers, their creative vision for the storyline, its characters and the game,” it said.

January 30th 2015




CLD DISTRIBUTION Rue du Grand Champs 14 , B 5380 Fernelmont Belgium Tel: +32 81 83 02 02 Fax: +32 81 83 02 09 Email: Web: home of &

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MORE DISTRIBUTORS AUSTRALIA AFA Interactive, Bluemouth Interactive, Five Star Games, Mindscape, Namco Bandai Partners, Turn Left Distribution BENELUX CLD Distribution, Koch Media, Gameworld Distribution B.V. CANADA E One, Importel, Just4Games, Solutions 2 Go, Vidéoglobe CYPRUS Access, Gibareio, Zilos, Nortec Multimedia CZECH REPUBLIC Cenega, Conquest, Comgad, Playman, ABC Data DENMARK Bergsala, Elpa, Impulse, Koch Media, Nordisk Film Interactive, Nordic Game Supply, PAN Vision FRANCE Big Ben, Innelec, Koch Media, SDO, Sodifa GREECE Zegatron, CD Media, Namco Bandai Partners, IGE, Nortec, Enarxis, Beacon HUNGARY Hungary, CTC Trading, Magnew, PlayON, Stadlbauer ICELAND Sena, Myndform, Samfilm, Ormsson INDONESIA Maxsoft, Uptron, Technosolution IRELAND MSE Group, Baumex JAPAN Ajioka, Happinet, Jesnet NORWAY Bergsala, Game Outlet, Koch Media, Nordic Game Supply, Nordisk Film, Pan Vision POLAND CD Projekt, Cenega, Galapagos, LEM PORTUGAL Ecoplay, Infocapital, Koch Media, Namco Bandai ROMANIA Best Distribution SERBIA ComTrade, Computerland/Iris Mega, Extreme CC SPAIN Digital Bros, Koch Media, Namco Bandai Partners, Nobilis SWEDEN Bergsala, Koch Media, Namco Bandai, Nordic Game Supply, PAN Vision, Wendros, Ztorm (digital) UAE Red Entertainment Distribution, Pluto Games (LS2 Pluto), Viva Entertainment, Gameplay Entertainment, Geekay Distribution




OFF THE RECORD This week, Deep Silver devises a sinful way to promote its new Saints Row releases and a dedicated group of fans petition Konami to bring back the Suikoden series ARMCHAIR ARSENAL Never one to sit around, Deep Silver brought one of the seven deadly sins – sloth – to the streets of London this week in the form of a deadly ‘armed-chair’. The fearsome furniture was used to celebrate the PS4 and Xbox One re-release of Saints Row IV and launch of standalone expansion Gat Out of Hell. To top it o, the ďŹ rm then put the footage on YouTube as Top Gear parody ‘Gat Gear’, complete with a voiceover from a Jeremy Clarkson impersonator and ‘The Stag’.

FAN POWER There are big game fans, and there are BIG game fans. Then there’s the Suikoden Revival Movement, a group of people with the aim of – you guessed it – getting Konami to bring its cult RPG series, Suikoden, back to the UK after nearly a decade of Japan-only releases. It seems that the group’s eorts have paid o, because Konami has already re-released the ďŹ rst two games in the series on PSN. They say they’re not ďŹ nished yet though – watch this space.

It opens up one really cool possibility for me which I dreamed of decades ago: Warhammer 40k tabletop battles but with holograms.


No. AR isn’t VR. I still hope it reaches production, rather than the prototype that it is now.


Dallas Tester



I can see VR and AR being used for different game types. AR will probably be used for more day-to-day activities though

Yeah, I’d say it could actually be pretty good HYHQWXDOO\'H¿QLWHO\SURPLVLQJ

Sam Grein

Neil Byrne



All of them seem like a gimmick so far. First one out of the gate gets the prize I guess.

Jim Thevenot @jimthev

When it comes to gaming the only people who will VXSSRUWWKLVZLOOEHÂżUVWSDUW\ same for Morpheus...

It’s actually a step in augmented reality. Virtual reality completely replaces your world, Holo just augments it.

Jeremy S

Michael North



I think it’ll be more like the next step of 2nd screen/tablet companion apps. Nice addition to gaming, but it’s no Oculus.

Dave Allen





Look at it beyond just gaming, too. I worked on the HoloLens team. It’s a real thing and works as shown.

No. Just more smoke and mirrors guff in a niche corner of gaming.

Silver Xatu @SilverXatu

January 30th 2015



z Ceremony takes place on February 19th in London at the Ham Yard Hotel, near Piccadilly Tube

z Networking afternoon and awards event z Honouring our Top 100 and giving three special awards to outstanding individuals

z Tickets cost £65 + VAT each and include pre- and post-event drinks plus theatre-seating awards ceremony

z Sponsorship opportunities still available guaranteeing exposure and involvement in our Women In Games activity throughout February


Profile for Future PLC

MCV820 January 30th 2015  

MCV820 January 30th 2015