Final Boss: Glowmade’s Jonny Hopper

Every month an industry leader wraps up MCV/DEVELOP with their unique insight. This month, we speak to Jonny Hopper, co-founder and CEO of Glowmade.

What would you say is your greatest achievement?

I think my greatest achievement is actually the string of smaller achievements that have led to Glowmade being the studio it is today. It’s just a wonderful place to spend time – and that is down to the people there and the culture we have built together. We spent a lot of time distilling down our core values – what we stand for as a studio – and this anchors us as the studio grows because we want to ensure 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 listened to. We give our teams the creative freedom to challenge the expected and follow their imaginations when creating video games. I’m super proud to have built a studio around these tenets, 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’s very important to me that as Glowmade grows, we ensure that we retain the core values and culture that make us unique today. The people who joined the studio four or five years ago will have had a different experience to people that join us today, but over those years they helped build the culture and values we now hold dear to our hearts. So I want to ensure that in another four or five years’ time, people who join the studio will still see and feel those values we hold today. I’m super excited for the studio to evolve and grow, but I am very much focused on keeping the Glowmade soul at the core of everything we do. Also, we are currently developing a new IP which is being published by Amazon Games, and we’ll be revealing it early next year. We’re super stoked 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 of the studio holds.

What do you see as the gaming industry’s biggest challenges in the years ahead? Will it be able to overcome them?

Nowadays with social media it’s so easy for gamers to talk directly to developers – the walls and the mystique is disappearing, which is great, because we’re all just people. But sometimes gamers forget that developers are just people trying to make a cool thing that we’re passionate about. We are seeing more and more of a sense of toxic entitlement online – as though the game developers are beholden to the trolls. It is challenging because we do know our craft, and we just want to make the best thing we can.

Do you think the industry is in a healthy place – or headed in the right direction, at least?

There’s always going to be more we – and any industry – can do to look after and maintain equality, diversity, team health and wellbeing, both physical and mental. I think the world at large is a much more accepting place than it was even ten years ago, but we still hear of horror stories taking place. It’s harder to see much of the quiet goodness that goes on 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 ultimately it’s just a job. It’s a job that should be inspiring and creative and fun, but it should never consume someone’s life. Life needs to exist outside of work for all of us, and we should never lose that focus.

About Richie Shoemaker

Prior to taking the editorial helm of MCV/DEVELOP Richie spent 20 years shovelling word-coal into the engines of numerous gaming magazines and websites, many of which are now lost beneath the churning waves of progress. If not already obvious, he is partial to the odd nautical metaphor.

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