The MCV Women in Games Awards, in association with Women in Games (WIGJ) will take place on Thursday May 19th at the Hamyard Hotel, London. There the recently announced Top 30 Women in Games will be celebrated, while six special awards will be presented.
Here we take a look another ten of the Top 30 Women in Games 2016 – from Gina Jackson to Rhianna Pratchett…
Gina Jackson – MD, Next Gen Skills Academy
Gina has been the managing director at NextGen Skills Academy since Sept 2014. Since taking the reins, Gina has delivered a significant amount of tangible activity, including: the creation of an industry taskforce, which defines the vital skills that are missing in the industry; the creation of a brand new level 3 qualification which is already being taught at four colleges in England (with more colleges to come on board in 2016); three short courses for young people wanting to start careers in games, animation and VFX; three higher apprenticeships in games and VFX.
She is on the frontline daily, encouraging and enabling young people to become the next generation of creators, not only by giving them the skills they need to enter companies with relevant experience for the workplace, but also by giving talks to young people of all backgrounds so that they can realise their potential and turn their passions into careers.
Gina also tirelessly promotes diversity throughout the industry, in particular championing women in games.In 2015, she launched NextGen Aspiring Women, an in-depth mentoring and professional development programme for women in games, animation and VFX.
Charlotte Knight – UK Retail MD, GAME
Charlotte Knight is a dynamic, inspiring and motivated commercial businesswoman, with a career spanning seventeen years in the fast changing video games market. Key strengths include; collaboration, leadership and a deep understanding of the customer in an ever changing market. A collaborative leader with excellent interpersonal skills who promotes team spirit and constant personal and team development.Charlotte is an accomplished relationship builder and has a reputation for always balancing the needs of team, people, suppliers and customers. She is passionate about supplier partnerships, driving change and delivering planned direction and results. Charlotte worked her way up and was appointed the youngest Director in the company’s history in 2011.Since 2011, she has worked successfully with the CEO and the management team driving strong profit growth and through an IPO and was named UK Retail MD in 2015.
Nina Kristensen – Co-Founder, Ninja Theory
Nina Kristensen co-founded Just Add Monsters in 2000 along with Mike Ball and Tameem Antoniades. In 2003 the team developed Kung Fu Chaos for the Xbox. A year later, Just Add Monsters was purchased by Jez San and renamed Ninja Theory. The company has been responsible for many major releases, including Heavenly Sword, Enslaved: Odyssey To The West and DMC: Devil May Cry.
Veronique Lallier – VP European Publishing, Hi-Rez Studios
Smite developer Hi-Rez secured the services of former Warner Bros VP of digital publishing Veronique Lallier earlier this year. Based in Hi-Rez’s new Brighton office, Lallier serves as VP of European publishing. She started her career in games in 1999 with a one-year internship at Ubisoft France and later went on to launch Grand Theft Auto: Vice City during her time at Take-Two France.
Roberta Lucca – Co-Founder, Bossa Studios
Lucca co-founded Bossa Studios with Henrique Olifiers, Ric Moore and Imre Jele in 2010 and served as the developer’s CMO unil last year. She has recently moved into a non-executive role at the company. As well as appearing in MCV’s Top 100 Women in Games last year, Lucca was voted one of the top 35 women under the age of 35 in Management Today, and was an Entertpreneur of the Year finalist in 2014.
Keza MacDonald – Editor, Kotaku UK
Keza has worked in digital media for more than 10 years, specialising in video games. For two and a half years she was UK games editor at IGN, one of the world’s biggest games websites, and has won two industry awards. She launched Kotaku in the UK and has been its editor since 2014.
She contributes to newspapers (including the Guardian and Observer), books and magazines on video games, and regularly appears as a games expert on UK TV and radio, including BBC and Channel 4 News, BBC 5 Live and the Charlie Brooker-fronted Channel 4 show ‘How Video Games Changed The World’. Her book about the Dark Souls series, You Died will be published in is set to launch later this month.
Caroline Miller – Director, Indigo Pearl
One of the leading ‘go-to’ PRs in the industry, Caroline Miller runs Indigo Pearl, which enjoyed one of its most profitable years in 2015. It has twice won the Agency category at the MCV Awards, and over the past year has won pitches for Zynga, Codemasters, Rock Band 4 and Games London and EPIC.
Indigo Pearl also runs press websites for publishers like Sony, Ubisoft, Activision, Bethesda, Capcom, Warner, and Konami to name a few. It was under the digital solutions part of Indigo Pearl that it launched DigitalXtra.net which solves the problem of disseminating digital code quickly and securely. This has now become Sony’s method of distributing keys all over Europe.
The nominations for Miller have also highlighted her support of other women working in the games industry.
Kat Osman – MD, Lick PR
Turning away from her degree in geological engineering not long after graduation, Osman started at Herald Communications/Fleishman Hillard as a temp, before being offered a full time position on the consumer tech team. Osman formed Lick PR with fellow ex-Lunch PR members Lucy Starvis, Ian Dickson and Colette Barr in 2014.
Kirsty Payne – VP, Special Effect
Kirsty Payne has been a passionate campaigner for SpecialEffect since 2007 and in her position as Vice President has been committed to what the charity does for disabled gamers. This has included everything from volunteering at awareness raising events such as the Gatcombe Horse Trials and EGX, through to dressing as an Angry Bird and Sonic to raise funds. Says the team at SpecialEffect: Kirsty exudes enthusiasm and passion about what the charity does and is an amazing advocate of the work of the charity”.
Rhianna Pratchett – Scriptwriter
Game writer, narrative designer and journalist, Rhianna Pratchett began her career as a journalist for PC Zone before writing scripts for the likes of Mirror’s Edge, Thief, Heavenly Sword, Prince of Persia, Codemasters’ Overlord series and the Tomb Raider reboots.
She recently won the Writer’s Guild Of America award for her script on Rise Of The Tomb Raider, but has sadly had a tough year following the passing of her father, Terry Pratchett.
She is described by a peer as a really strong and very capable woman who throughout the years has been a huge inspiration to many.”
The MCV Women In Games event takes place at the Hamyard Hotel, London on Thursday May 19th. Tickets are priced at just 49 and are available by clickinghere.