Up next in our series of Aussie and Kiwi developer profiles is the Brisbane-based KIXEYE Australia and its Studio Director George Fidler.
George Fidler joined a Brisbane indie called 3 Blokes Studios in 2010, working on a Facebook space trading game called Galactic Traders. He had come from a background at The Creative Assembly, and had just left his last job as the General Manager of SEGA Studios Australia.
"Those guys were working on a number of social games," Fidler recalls, "and I had no exposure to that so I came in with some management expertise and very little knowledge of the games-as-a-service space. They gave me a minor share of the business and I worked with those guys for a year, and we managed to build the business up to a point where we were able to sell it to RockYou."
Very shortly after the purchase, however, RockYou decided to move away from core games, but it had a funder in common with KIXEYE and made the vital introduction.
"One door closes and another opens," says Fidler. "I literally walked around the corner in San Francisco into Will Harbin’s office, and within a week the core team had been flown to America; we came back and we were literally off and running. We started with 10 people based on a sci-fi game called VEGA Conflict in April 2012."
Since then, the team has grown substantially, growing from 10 at launch to 45 today, and is working on server-authoritative, cross-platform play for VEGA Conflict.
"Lots of companies are talking about this, in core gaming, but we’re very close to actually realising it," Fidler says proudly. "Our goal was that you could leave your PC, put your phone in your pocket, jump on the bus and play, walk into the lounge room, pick up your tablet and continue to play the same game."
The team is already beta testing that vision for VEGA Conflict, which can already be played on Facebook (with some 80’000 players online at the time of writing).