MCV reveals the most talented young minds working in the UK games industry in 2016
This year’s 30 Under 30 is sponsored by OPM Recruitment.
Video Producer, GameSpot UK Age: 28
Adam Mason has worked as a video producer in games for over five years. Starting out as the producer and director of Ginx TV’s Planet of the Apps, he went on to work on the company’s flagship shows, The Blurb and Videogame Nation. Despite having a reportedly low budget and small team, Mason turned out high-quality shows which were broadcast on Challenge TV. For his work on VGN, he was nominated for two Games Media Awards.
Departing Ginx in June, Mason now works at GameSpot UK as a video producer.
Digital Manager, Indigo Pearl Age: 28
In his current role of digital manager at UK games PR gurus Indigo Pearl, Girling handles asset distribution at PressXtra for giants including Activision, Bethesda, Capcom, Sega, Square Enix, Ubisoft and Warner Bros.
He is described to MCV as one of the most diligent, efficient and attentive people working in the games media. According to one client, he is available all hours of the day to handle assets. He recently helped launch Indigo Pearl’s DigitalXtra.net code delivery service.
Director, Amcade Age: 28
Moyet has been active in the games space for six years, starting as an account executive on Xbox’s European ad push in 2010. She then went on to work at PlayStation for three years as a brand manager working on franchises such as Uncharted, Killzone, Tearaway and SingStar.
Since, she has set up her own marketing company, Amcade, which is entirely dedicated to the video games space, with clients such as LittleBigPlanet studio Media Molecule and industry charity Special Effect.
Content Editor, VideoGamer Age: 26
Described as ‘one of the best growing voices in games criticism’, Bell has worked at VideoGamer for just under a year but has already made a big impact. Her role was quickly expanded to writing features and reviews. As a result, she’s just been promoted from junior staff writer to content editor.
Bell has also taken part in VideoBrains’ events since August 2015 and has just been made a resident speaker.
She has also worked as a freelancer, writing for the likes of OXM, OPM, MacLife and GamesRadar.
Video Host, IGN UK Age: 24
‘The next Julia Hardy’ is how Alysia Judge has been labelled. IGN’s video host joined the publication only five months ago and but has been working in the industry since 2012.
As a freelance journalist, she has written for the likes of Sky News, BBC Radio 1, Al Jazeera, Official PlayStation Magazine UK, TechWeek Europe, GameReactor and GamesMaster. In October 2015, she became AppSpy’s editor – after a stint as sister title Pocket Gamer’s news editor – hosting daily Twitch livestrams and working on YouTube videos for both AppSpy and Pocket Gamer.
Account Executive, Edelman/Xbox UK Age: 24
For two years, Ellison has been handling PR for the Xbox brand in her role at Edelman’s Assembly team. She has been involved in the promotion of several big first-party titles, including Forza Motorsport 6 and Halo 5: Guardians, and is part of the campaign for the upcoming Gears of War 4. On top of handling press requests, she has worked hard to both develop relationships with prominent YouTube personalities and get Microsoft releases press coverage outside of the games media.
Sales Analyst, Warner Bros Age: 25
Warner Bros’ Metcalfe is the worthy representative of the finance sector in this year’s 30 Under 30. He started at Warner Bros in 2011 as part of the company’s internship programme, he returned as an international sales analysis manager in May 2015 following a period at Santander. Some of his achievements include securing a recent $2m sale and dealing with the SCEE digital promotions across all of EMEA. He provides ‘crucial’ reports and insight for Warner Bros’ international team.
PR, Marketing and Comms Manager, Wales Interactive Age: 26
Wales Interactive’s Ben Tester has been a key member of the developer-publisher’s growth since he joined in 2014.
He has helped launch indie titles such as Master Reboot, Soul Axiom, Coffin Dodgers and The Bunker. In addition to leading the marketing strategy, community, and media relations, Tester also took over Wales Interactive’s publishing arm as account manager. Before joining the Pencoed-based firm, Tester worked as a CG, 3D and environment artist for the likes of Irontown, Bait Studio and Dinamo.
Publishing and Developer Relations, Oculus VR Age: 29
Virtual reality is only in its infancy, but Callum Underwood has been an evangelical force for the new tech.
Since the start of 2014, he has been heading up Oculus’ European developer relations and is described as ‘single-handedly changing the world’ when it comes VR. He has been a constant presence at events and has become the point of contact for Oculus developers in Europe, always making sure they have what they need and sourcing help from the virtual reality firm.
Operations Advisor, Nintendo UK Age: 28
Ten months into his new position as operations advisor, Ruprah is said to have excelled in the role. Having previously worked for four years in Nintendo UK’s customer support team, those who put him forward for 30 Under 30 say he has a friendly can-do attitude, and is pro-active in dealing with tricky situations. In his current role he handles the day-to-day management of multi-million pound retail customer accounts, and is the first point-of-call for order-related queries from the games trade.
eSports TV Show Host, Ginx/Sky Age: 24
Charleyy Hodson began her career as a sales assistant at GAME, all while starting to write for her own website, Confessions of a Gamer Girl, which has gathered over 20,000 followers since its 2010 launch.
She was hired by Bleeding Cool as game reviewer in 2015 and also started working with YouTube-focused website We The Unicorns that same year.
In May 2016, as Ginx created its 24-hour eSports channel, Hodson launched her own docu-reality series, IRL, focusing on the daily life of UK eSports personalities.
Social Media Executive, Substance Global Age: 26
A relatively new addition to marketing firm Substance Global, Elisha Brown has achieved a great deal since her arrival in April. ‘Flair for copy’, ‘creative’, ‘thoughtful approaches’ and ‘infectious enthusiasm’ are only a few of the ways her work has been described.
In her current role, Brown has reinforced relations with the likes of 20th Century Fox for its upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie.
She was hired after spending over two years as community manager at NextGen Skills Academy Electronic Dojo, PlayMob and Magic Notion.
Presenter and Video Producer, Gamer Network Age: 27
Starting out with her own YouTube channel in 2010, Ellen ‘icklenellierose’ Rose has managed to garner an audience of more than 25,000 subscribers.
In 2015, she was approached by Attention Seekers to help host Microsoft’s official Xbox On channel, a role she held until very recently. She is credited with helping the platform reach 140,000 subscribers with ‘unprecedented’ engagement and video views. Now she is working on a currently-unannounced project over at Gamer Network.
PS Store & PS Plus Community Coordinator, Sony Age: 26
Many of us never want to look at the comments, but for Sony’s Francesca Mead, that is her job. In many ways, she is the public face of Sony’s PSN store. Mead is the point of contact for any concerns members of the community have with PlayStation’s digital storefront. Furthermore, she creates ‘fun and engaging’ events around PlayStation Plus titles. She continues to work hard even in the face of what is described as an, at times, ‘very hostile’ audience.
Production Manager, PQube Age: 25
Lewis landed at PQube right after he finished his computing degree at the University of Bath in 2013. He has since then gone from managing two to three products a year to overseeing work on 27 different projects in the last 12 months. He started as digital media assistant but took over the role of production manager after two years.
Lewis has worked on successful localisation projects and managed both physical and digital launches. He’s been described as ‘remarkably organised’, ‘ruthlessly efficient’ and ‘with boundless enthusiasm’.
Freelance journalist Age: 22
At only 22, Holly Nielsen already has a CV that would make many journalists jealous. She has written for the likes of The Guardian, PC Gamer, International Business Times, The Telegraph and Stuff and has appeared on Sky News as a gaming expert and reviewer.
She has just finished studying for her History batchelor’s degree at King’s College.
On top of that, she still has time to co-host the Toku Podcast alongside games writer Kate Gray, one of our 2015 30 Under 30 picks.
Editor, Everybody Plays Age: 29
Having worked as a freelance journalist and games writer for years, Morris launched Everybody Plays in 2010. The site’s mission was to write about interactive entertainment for a wider audience. Today it boasts a majority female and family audience, something largely unheard of in the games media. As well as running the site, Morris helps design, program and manage it.
Earlier this year, Morris launched the new EPAL rating system, which ranks games based on what skills younger children require to play them.
Community Manager, Koch Media/Deep Silver Age: 28
Since April 2014, James Livett has been the heart of Deep Silver’s gaming community, acting as the frontline responder for fans across brands such as Agents Of Mayhem, Saints Row, Dead Island, Metro and Homefront.
Livett learnt the job at Green Man Gaming, where he held a similar position for nearly three years, after scoring an internship at the digital retailer in 2011. During the same period, he also did voluntary community management at Orca Cola, one the biggest Blood Bowl communities.
Events and PR Manager, Xtreme Gaming Age: 26
eSports enthusiast Jon Blayney achieved an honourable mention in last year’s 30 Under 30. This time
around, he’s made it onto the list thanks to his increasing contribution to Xtreme Gaming’s business, helping build strong relationships with key publishers such as 2K Games and Bethesda.
Blayney was also instrumental in bringing Resonate Glasgow – the city’s first ever games show – to life and planning its eSports programme.
Digital Content Manager, Sold Out Age: 26
Garrity joined publisher Sold Out in September 2015, but had been on the fringes of the games industry for some time prior to this role.
For five years now he has helped run the popular Cane and Rinse podcast. Via a stint in community moderation at social media firm Tempero – where he managed Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s social media presence – he joined Sold Out he has helped bring the likes of Prison Architect and Worms WMD to physical retail.
CEO, Yogscast Age: 29
Known to the company’s millions of followers today as ‘Turps’, Mark Turpin is the boss of Bristol-based media outlet Yogscast. Joining the company in 2012 as its CEO, Turpin, along with the rest of the Yogscast team, has helped raise millions for charity.
Furthermore, under his stewardship, Yogscast has become a central part of the UK games media, with Sony and Microsoft’s official YouTube channels, PlayStation Access and Xbox On, being produced in-house at the firm.
Account Director, Twitch Age: 28
As an inaugural member of Twitch’s UK sales team, Matt Bowe has witnessed the platform’s rapid growth. He helped to secure campaigns across Europe with brands like Apple, IKEA, Doritos and Paramount, which earned him the title of 2015’s salesperson of the year at Twitch.
Prior to joining the live-streaming platform in 2014, he previously worked at media network Manning Gottlieb for brands such as Google, Square Enix and Pokmon. Prior to that, he worked at MediaCom, mainly for EA, for two-and-a-half years.
Digital Games Buyer, Green Man Gaming Age: 27
Since joining digital retailer Green Man Gaming in 2012 as a content administrator, Johnson has become an essential part of its trading team.
Now working as a digital games buyer, she has built strong relations with publishers to make sure Green Man Gaming is stocked with the latest games. She manages over 130 accounts and is responsible for some of the retailer’s most important clients. Before joining Green Man Gaming, Johnson worked as a support advisor for Sony’s European arm.
eSports Partnerships Manager, Multiplay Age: 27
Since he joined Multiplay one year ago, Neale Maker has worked tirelessly at growing the company’s events, such as Insomnia 58 for which he worked as eSports partnership manager.
He arrived at the company as events manager, but was promoted last summer after only 11 months.
Before that, Maker held the role of resource advisor at Carnival UK and also worked in recruitment at Spectrum IT, SPS International and Matchtech.
Account Director, Bastion Age: 28
Vijh has worked at PR firm Bastion for six years, rising from account executive to account director during that time.
He is praised for his work on accounts such as Develop: Brighton, where he has secured growing mainstream press coverage and increased attendee figures for the event. Vijh also handles PR for eSports company ESL and has completely immersed himself in this new sector, and in doing so has provided support and guidance for the pro-gaming firm.
Business Development Administrator, Games London Age: 28
Best known for her work at Games London, Tuplin started her career in games when she helped launch Nottingham’s National Videogame Arcade. She joined Games London at the end of 2015 as its business development administrator and has proved invaluable to the organisation’s success in liasing with companies seeking investment. With London Games Festival’s return earlier this year, Tuplin was in charge of the Festival Fringe, a series of events that ran alongside the main show. Now she is working to bring 38m of investment into the UK.
Co-Founder and Client Director, Virtual Umbrella Age: 26
Winner of the Venus New Business Awards Samantha Kingston created Virtual Umbrella in 2015 with one goal in mind: help VR companies raise awareness of their products. Kingston gained expertise in virtual reality while working at developer nDreams where she was social media coordinator and then became a VR freelance consultant.
She also co-created VR Girls UK to help promote the role of women in tech.
Kingston was amongst the 2016 finalists of MCV’s Women in Games Awards, in the Unsung Hero category.
Editor, PC Gamer Age: 28
Despite being yet to reach his 30s, Samuel Roberts is already an industry veteran with over nine years in games. He started as staff writer at Imagine’s Play magazine in 2007 and made his way to the top. He then became editor at Future’s PC Gamer in 2013. For the past two years, he’s been overseeing all content for both the UK and US editions and recently managed the redesign of the magazine.
At Imagine, Roberts held various writing and editing positions at X360, SciFiNow and GamesTM publications.
His strengths apparently also include ‘always knowing which Batman comic you should read.’
Community and Communications Officer, UKIE Age: 24
Following a nine month stint as games industry charity SpecialEffect’s first
ever intern, Densham went on to take on the role of UKIE’s community and communications officer in 2015. She has been described as invaluable to the trade body, helping to launch initiatives such as the nationwide roll-out of Digital Schoolhouse and the UK Games Map. She also handles UKIE’s public affairs communications and managing over 300 Video Game Ambassadors.
Publicist, Premier PR Age: 29
Premier PR’s Copeland has managed to run European PR for games firms including Telltale, Crytek, Curve Digital and Nexon Europe for the past two years.
Copeland joined Premier in August 2014 as assistant publicist and became publicist last June.
He’s previously written about games for a number of outlets, including Game Rant and Game People, and has created a dedicated London games diary before he brought his enthusiasm to Premier.
Kamala Kuzmicka (Green Man Gaming), Edward Price (Nintendo of Europe), David Jewitt (GameSpot UK), Chris Mead (Twitch), Josh West, (GamesTM), Sayem Ahmed (Green Man Gaming), Nathan Mills (Koei Tecmo), Ryan Brown (Daily Mirror), Oscar Taylor-Kent (Rice Digital), Ric Cowley (PocketGamer.Biz), Vincent Jurgens (HyperX), Patrick Dane (Bleeding Cool), Joshua Dahdrai (Capcom), Adam Symonds (GeekCore), Edward Bailey (Hyper X) and Roald Van Buuren (FaceIt)