Online Game Pioneers at Work

Online Game Pioneers at Work

Book Description
In this groundbreaking collection of 15 interviews, successful founders of entertainment software companies reflect on their challenges and how they survived. You will learn of the strategies, the sacrifices, the long hours, the commitment, and the dedication to quality that led to their successes but also of the toll that this incredibly competitive market has on even its most brilliant minds. For the hundreds of thousands of game developers out there, this is a must read survival guide. For those who simply enjoy games and know of some of these founders, this will be a most interesting read.

Sales of video games, hardware, and accessories reach upwards of $20 billion every year in the United States alone, and more than two-thirds of American households include video games in their daily lives. In a world that seems to be overflowing with fortune and success, the vicious truth of this booming industry is easily forgotten: failure is tradition. Video games define a cultural crossroad where business, entertainment, and technology converge, where the risks are great, cutting edge technology is vitally important, and competition is intense. Here are the stories of survival from many of the industries luminaries who founded companies, created industries in their home countries, took amazing risks, innovated technologies, and invented new ways to sell. Among this outstanding group of pioneers are: Richard Garriott, cofounder of Origin Systems, astronaut, and the producer of the revolutionary Ultima Online; John Romero of DoomWolfenstein, and Quake fame; and Victor Kislyi, whose World of Tanks set the Guinness World Record for the most people online at once with over 1.1 million people playing. You will read their stories and you will gain an understanding of how they managed in such a demanding business.

There are a few game development companies that have withstood the test of time; most startups exit as quickly as they enter the scene. Many firms are outpaced by the explosive worldwide growth and economic realities of the sector. Here are enlightening the stories of entrepreneurs who found success and many who subsequently could not repeat it. They walk you through their incredible journeys of success and failure while expressing their views on development, design, hiring, finance, business models, selling their organization, the business life cycle, their frustrations and mistakes, while showing their intensity and their passion for the business along the way.

Online Game Pioneers at Work:
  • Explores the formation of entertainment software companies from the perspectives of successful founders who defied the odds
  • Provides insight into why experienced professionals sacrifice the comfort of gainful employment for the uncertainty and risk of the startup
  • Shares the experiences and lessons that shape the lives, decisions, and struggles of entrepreneurs in this volatile business
Featured Entrepreneurs:
  • David Perry, cofounder and CEO at Gaikai
  • Emily Greer, cofounder and CEO at Kongregate
  • Doug Whatley, cofounder and CEO at BreakAway Games
  • Ian Bogost, founding partner at Persuasive Games
  • Victor Kislyi, cofounder and CEO at
  • Richard Garriott, astronaut and creative director at Portalarium
  • Gaute Godager, cofounder of Funcom
  • Ilkka Paananen, cofounder and CEO at Supercell
  • Jason Kapalka, creator of Bejeweled and cofounder of PopCap Games
  • John Romero, cofounder of id Software
  • Ray Muzyka and Greg Zeschuk, cofounders of BioWare Corp.
  • Raph Koster, cofounder of Metaplace
  • Reynir Harðarson, cofounder of CCP Games
  • Riccardo Zacconi, cofounder and CEO at King
  • Neil Young, cofounder of ngmoco:)


Chapter 1: David Perry
Chapter 2: Emily Greer
Chapter 3: Doug Whatley
Chapter 4: Ian Bogost
Chapter 5: Victor Kislyi
Chapter 6: Richard Garriott
Chapter 7: Gaute Godager
Chapter 8: Ilkka Paananen
Chapter 9: Jason Kapalka
Chapter 10: John Romero
Chapter 11: Ray Muzyka & Greg Zeschuk
Chapter 12: Raph Koster
Chapter 13: Reynir Harðarson
Chapter 14: Riccardo Zacconi
Chapter 15: Neil Young

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