Top 100 Women in Games: Sarah Seaby

Sarah Seaby’s brother had a small part to play in her career in video games.

I spent a number of years trying to beat my brother at long jump, 100m and javelinon Daley Thompson’s Decathlon on the Commodore 64,” recalls Bethesda’s marketing boss.

We would also take turns typing game programs from magazines into the C64, which inevitably didn’t work and my brother would always blame me. One game I remember being very excited about was Die Hard on the PlayStation, but it’ll come as no surprise that I would always have to wait patiently for my turn while my brother hogged the light gun.

"With these experiences, and the fact I will always remember my brother telling me that girls can’t work in the games industry, I not only had an early passion for games, but I had a point to prove – girls can work in the games industry.”

She got her career break when reading the original games industry trade paper – CTW – a forebear to MCV, and spotted a job ad for Interplay.

One thing led to another and they offered me the job – and so my games industry journey began,” she explains.

At Interplay I decided to do a marketing degree at night school, which really helped my career. About a year later we went through a merger with Virgin Interactive, at which point I was a Product Manager. Then in 1999 I moved to Take-Two as International Marketing Manager.I spent just short of seven years with Take-Two, including having the amazing chance to work in the New York office. In 2006 I was part of the round of redundancies they went through and left them having been Marketing Director. From that point I took on a consultancy role with Sega to work on the hugely successful Mario and Sonic at the Olympic Games, and then went to work at a new start-up company called Gamecock."

Gamecock was a small independent games business but unfortunately it didn’t last for long.

Gamecock provided me with a completely different set of experiences, however, the company was bought out in 2008 having been hit by the credit crunch and I was made redundant for a second time – something that seems to happen too often in our industry. After spending some time waiting for the right opportunity, I took on the role of European Marketing and PR Director at Bethesda in 2009. Six years later and I’m still enjoying working in this role.”

With 18 years in the games industry, Seaby certainly has a few memories to share.

Surviving the drinking culture at Virgin Interactive and not becoming an alcoholic,” she says. Working on my first triple-A title, Baldur’s Gate, was a great moment after working on lot of products that I refuse to list because it’ll make me look old.

Ultimately, though, being able to play a part in launching some of the greatest IPs in the games industry has been a real honour. I have been very lucky to have worked with some of the most talented studios in the world and to have built my career in arguably the best entertainment industry in the world.”

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