Jim is one of our industry veterans. Leaving school at 15, he worked in casinos while teaching himself new skills in his spare time. He then used these skills to persuade Ubisoft to give him a job, and never looked back.
- Role Production Director
- Location London
- Years in the industry 24
- Number of games 22
- Superpower Humility
- Kryptonite New York Baked Cheesecake
- Favourite Genre 4x Turn based strategy games
- Favourite Software MS Project 😉
- Game that changed you Space Invaders
- Rock / paper / scissors Paper
What attracted you to working in games?
As a young croupier working in casinos I was very keen to do a creative job that was fun, interesting, exciting and had a positive impact on the end user.
How did you get into the industry?
I taught myself how to build and fix PCs in the mid 90s and how to get software working in the days of Windows 95 Plug N play – mostly out of necessity and self interest.
I then proceeded to call every publisher and developer in the South East of England to offer to work for free, during my 2 days off a week from the casinos, as a Customer Support Technician – on the condition that should they like the work I was doing, they would make me an offer in three months.
Ubisoft took me up on the offer and three months later I had switched careers!
How is it different now from when you joined?
Much larger teams, HUGE budgets, much higher expectations, far greater audience, mobile phones, high speed broadband, dedicated gfx cards, my first intel was a Pentium 60mhz!
What's your proudest achievement?
Leaving school at 15 and having the career and kind of life that I do.
What led you to join MPG?
MPG’s Chief Product Officer, Andy Norman, bedazzled me!
What game do you wish you'd worked on and why?
Elite Dangerous – it was one of my first loves on a ZX Spectrum 128k.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
Andy Norman- one of the most humble, knowledgeable, useful bosses you can ever hope to have!
Special mention to Sid ‘a week spent on graphics is a week not spent on gameplay’ Meir – never judge a book by its cover…
What changes would you like to see in the industry?
Regulation of all gambling in video games, a ban on ‘Gacha’ mechanics, innovation, a more relevant and modern curriculum catering for today’s business needs, more diversity in the industry.
What are you looking forward to?
The end of the global pandemic.
How has the pandemic changed the way you work?
Massively, some for the positive where unexpected (Increased focus and productive working time, less noise and distraction), some for the negative where unexpected (lack of social contact spilling over into work time & temptation to wear the same t-shirt two days in a row – I have resisted but the temptation is there!)