The director of Indigo Pearl tells MCV about working her way up the games career ladder
Tell us about your career in games. How did you get started?
I got started on the very bottom rung of the ladder – in fact, I'd even say that the floor under the bottom rung would be a more apt description.
Rosemarie Dalton, a friend of a friend at the time, told me of a job going at Virgin Games working as Nikki Hemming's assistant. I borrowed my sister's jacket for the interview and that was that.
Virgin was the most brilliant place to work. Not only was it loads of fun, working on the best products in the world at the time, but the calibre of the people there was incredible. Holding your own in meetings with Sean Brennan, Tim Chaney, Louie Beatty, David Walker, Pam Dalton, Hilary Cole, Graeme Struthers and Simon Jefferies was very good practice for a job in gaming – or bare knuckle fighting come to think of it. The clich ‘Work hard, play hard' was never so aptly used as it was at Virgin back in the day. Oh yeah, and I met my husband and ‘baby daddy' David Miller there as well. Happy days.
I started as the International Sales Exec, and finished as the International Sales Director, there was literally nothing I didn't know about the Finnish gaming industry. I was invited to join a start-up team at Crave, that while fun while it lasted, didn't last.
At that point I'd had a baby so the thrill of getting up at 4am to get a flight to Copenhagen had worn off and Indigo Pearl was born when Graeme Struthers realised that we could carry on in the Crave offices in London, but with our own ‘thing' and that ‘thing' was Indigo Pearl. We wanted to be a PR agency offering tech solutions alongside the traditional agency offerings. And 16 years later we are still here, thriving in an industry that is almost unrecognisable from the one we started in.
What excited you about this industry that made you want to get involved?
To be honest I just needed a job, I'd played games, mostly Nintendo. But it needed a paycheque. It was only once I was in it that I realised what an amazing, creative, friendly and brilliant industry that I'd joined.
I feelgrateful that fate brought me here. When other people tell me about their jobs I think: ‘Poor you, you should get a job in games'. It just feels like a brilliant industry packed with lovely fun people – doesn't it? And I love the new wave of witty clever and gorgeous indie games on the market. And the change, the constant breath-taking change, really keeps you on your toes.
What have been your biggest achievements? What are you most proud of?
Running a successful company year after year – touch wood – while being a Mum.
Staying upbeat, it's hard sometimes but always worth it.
The friends I've made along the way, Rosemarie Dalton and Louise Gaynor remain my very close girlfriends to this day.
The team at Indigo Pearl, coming to work every day with Ben Anita Robbie and Alex is amazing. And a special mention for Olly who's moved beyond colleague and into almost family member. Love you Olly.
Working with GamesAid was awesome and seeing them grow and do better and better every year is very satisfying
What are your goals moving forward in games?
To keep on keeping up, everything moves so fast from the nature of the games to the nature of the media.
We want to keep developing our Xtra.net tools so that the industry keeps using them.
And to do some mentoring for younger women getting into the industry, which is something that I've started already and I'm very excited about.