30 Under 30

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They are the brightest minds in games retail, publishing, marketing, PR and journalism. But who are they?





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Phillip Davies
Age: 21
Founder, King Andre Entertainment

Retailer Davies was so young when he started out at 16 that he couldn't be guarantor on supplier contracts, and had to draft his dad in as a silent partner at the indie business. King Andre doesn't stock new releases, instead the average purchase is 10, but Davies' store is a winner: he turned over almost 1m last year, making 100k profit. He tells us his success comes from focusing on profit not turnover and insists loss leader tactics are futile.



Rachel Dearsley
Age: 28
Assistant Category Manager, GAME

Dearsley joined GAME in 2006 as a buying assistant for the PC and accessories range. She was quickly promoted to the role of assistant product manager for Sony products with responsiblity managing the PSP category for both hardware and software. She recently changed role to assistant category manager on all Sony products, most recently managing GAME's Move launch.



Laura Skelly
Age: 24
PR Executive, Strategy, Capcom

Before her time at Capcom Skelly shone as an intern at THQ, eventually even being given her own title to manage. She has settled in quickly at Capcom and is described as highly organised, professional and a strong communicator. She now looks after key brands including DMC, Dead Rising 2, MotoGP and Monster Hunter Freedom.



Rachael Grant
Age: 25
Brand Manager, Ubisoft

Grant has been with Ubisoft since March ‘09, joining from Eidos. She started out working on Imagine and Petz titles, but her breakthrough has been with Just Dance. Peers both inside and outside of Ubi say she was intrinsic to the title's blockbuster success, championing the game, getting it on retail agendas and arranging a targeted marketing campaign.



Tom Hodge
Age: 23
Business Development Manager, Venom

At peripherals firm Venom, Hodge's role includes a host of responsibilities. These include supporting the sales department by managing major accounts, coordinating logistics and helping to enable the smooth running of the firm's busy warehouse, deciding marketing and communication with licensors while also working on packaging and artwork to guarantee continuity across the Venom range.



Lauren Dillon
Age: 23
Publicist, Premier PR

While Dillon has only been in the games industry for just over a year her colleagues say she has proven herself as an invaluable asset to the team at Premier PR, working across all accounts including Warner Bros, Nordic Games, Rising Star, Capcom and the BBC. She's quickly proven popular with many of the games press and established a firm list of key contacts.



Nathan Ditum
Age: 29
Associate Editor, FirstPlay

Ditum is responsible for planning and commissioning or writing all editorial content in Future's on-console show FirstPlay. It's his job to guide the tone and style of the company's crucial first step into a new media. Before moving to FirstPlay Nathan was reviews editor on Official PlayStation Magazine, organising world exclusives on the likes of GTA IV, LittleBigPlanet and God of War III.



Stephen Hutchins
Age: 26
Senior Data Analyst, NCsoft

Hutchin's role means he provides invaluable insight into NCsoft's global player base and media campaigns, outlining areas for growth and ROI. Within his first three years at the firm he won NCsoft's internal Global Star award. For the last two years, he has taken the role of Gamescom staff manager managing the firm's prominent show presence.



Laura Maxwell
Age: 29
National Account Manager, Centresoft

Maxwell (ne Pearce) joined Centresoft eight years ago, initially as a telesales account manager for Vivendi. In time she was promoted to the position of product manager, initially also for Vivendi but later Eidos as well. Peers say her continued achievements led to her being promoted” in 2009 to her national accounts role, where she has continued to play a valuable role dealing with major multi-national accounts and a plethora of publishers.



Alastair Islip
Age: 26
Games Buyer, Asda

Islip has been part of the Asda games team since the closure of EUK in 2008. He manages the Microsoft category and several key publishers including Take-Two, Sega, Square Enix, Codemasters, THQ and Konami. He has delivered consistent share growth across all his supplier base and has been instrumental in Asda's planning for the launch of Microsoft Kinect. He also blogs regularly on behalf of the Asda games team at the retailer's consumer facing blog, Aisle Spy.



Matt Roche
Age: 24
International PR Executive, 2K Games

Matt has been with 2K for several months working as part of the International team which supports the publisher's PR managers across Europe, Australia and Asia. He's quickly made a name for himself at the company, working on successful launches for Mafia II, Civilization V and NBA 2K11, as well as high profile announcements of BioShock Infinite and Duke Nukem Forever. Colleagues say he is level headed, professional, proficient and mature beyond his years and an absolute asset to the 2K International team”.



Richard Thompson
Age: 27
Games Buyer, HMV

Thompson joined HMV's trading team a little under two years ago as assistant buyer. His no-nonsense attitude, and ability to see commercial opportunities that would otherwise have been missed, have helped him establish his reputation as a key member of the HMV team. He was promoted to buyer this year and has stepped up to the plate to drive HMV's commercial offer this Christmas, securing a host of exclusive deals and great offers for the business.

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