Each month, an industry leader rounds out MCV/DEVELOP with their unique insight. This month we’re talking to Jonny Hopper, Co-Founder and CEO of Glowmade.
What would you say is your greatest achievement?
I think my biggest achievement is actually the string of smaller achievements that have made Glowmade the studio it is today. It’s just a wonderful place to spend time – and that’s because of the people there and the culture we’ve built together. We’ve spent a lot of time distilling our core values—what we stand for as a studio—and that anchors us as the studio grows because we want to make sure those values continue to be upheld at all times. For example, we are very passionate about maintaining a positive, inclusive culture where everyone has a voice and every idea is heard. We give our teams the creative freedom to challenge the expected and follow their imaginations when creating video games. I’m extremely proud to have built a studio around these principles and that everyone at the studio embraces them as much as I do.
What ambitions do you have for the future of Glowmade and the industry as a whole?
It is very important to me that as Glowmade grows, we ensure that we maintain the core values and culture that make us unique today. People who joined the studio four or five years ago will have had different experiences than people joining us today, but over those years they helped build the culture and values we now hold dear to our hearts. So I want to make sure that in another four or five years, the people who join the studio will still see and feel those values that we uphold today. I’m extremely excited to see the studio evolve and grow, but I’m very focused on keeping the soul of Glowmade at the heart of everything we do. In addition, we are currently developing a new IP that is being published by Amazon Games and will reveal it early next year. We’re super excited to finally show everyone what we’ve been working on – it feels like a truly ‘Glowmade’ game and that makes me very excited for what the future holds for the studio.
What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the gaming industry in the coming years? Will he be able to overcome them?
These days with social media it’s so easy for gamers to talk directly to developers – the walls and mystique disappear, which is great because we’re all just human. But sometimes gamers forget that developers are just people trying to create something cool that we’re passionate about. We’re seeing more and more of a sense of toxic entitlement online – as if game developers owe it to trolls. It’s a challenge because we know our craft and we just want to do the best we can.
Do you think the industry is in good shape – or at least headed in the right direction?
There will always be more we – and every industry – can do to nurture and support equality, diversity, team health and wellbeing, both physical and mental. I think the world in general is a much more accepting place than it was even ten years ago, but we still hear about horror stories happening. It’s harder to see much of the quiet goodness that happens all the time under the radar. We take wellbeing very seriously at Glowmade – I want people to have a great time working for us, but at the end of the day it’s just a job. It’s a job that should be inspiring, creative and fun, but it should never consume one’s life. Life should exist outside of work for all of us, and we should never lose that focus.