Top 100 Women in Games: Debbie Bestwick

The co-founder of Team 17 began her career in retail, working her way up to store promotional manager for an indie video games chain, where she opened over 100 concessions for the Burton Group.

Today, she’s best know for her work for Team 17, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.

She launched the multi-award winning Worms in the ‘90s and sold 65m units of the franchise. The firm even matched EA by picking up Joint Publisher of the Year awards.

In the early 2000s, she moved Team 17 into mobile and digital downloads and more recently has completed an MBO on Team 17, making it one of Europe’s most solid independent games companies.

She has since transformed Team 17 into a indie publisher, winning Best Business Development, Publisher of the Year and Best British Game (at Gamescom) in the last 12 months.

Our Publisher programme is simply mind blowing in terms of what is happening,” she says. We are changing people’s lives for the better on a daily basis.”

Her aim moving forward is to continue to incubate indie studios and turn their games into huge successes.

She also wants to actively mentor and encourage more young women to enter games, but also help those who are already in the industry to aim higher.

There’s simply too few women at the top level in our industry,” she says.

Her other aim is to get her unread emails down from 19,000 to 1.

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