In the wake of his recent appointment as Side's business development manager, Ben Ryalls catches up with Develop, and explains what he has in store for the creative production services company – as well as offering advice on getting a career in the games industry when your CV is dominated by roles outside the sector.
Develop: In your role as business development manager, in what direction do you plan to help push Side?
Ben Ryalls: I want to continue Side’s drive in getting developers and producers to realise the huge benefits of using an outsourcing company that specialises in story and character related services. Good script writing, casting and direction are essential in game development these days, so that’s where I’m focusing initially.
So what attracted you to the role at the company?
The position uses many of the skills I have learnt in my career and offers great opportunity for development. Coupled with the fact that Side are leaders in their field within the industry, it made the role irresistible.
How does your previous experience inform your role at Side?
I’ve worked in business development, sales, marketing and finance before. Many of the skills are transferrable and coupled with a life-long passion for games I felt that I was the ideal candidate for the position.
What do you see as the challenges of the business development of a specialist service company like Side?
Making sure that we identify and develop services our clients may need in the future before they know they need them. The industry is always evolving and so we have to stay at the top of our game.
Side tells us they hope you can add a creative flair to business development. What does that mean, and how do you hope to offer that approach?
It means that Side want me to bring my own ideas to the direction of the business. I plan to do that by exploring the opportunities that clearly exist between the crossover in the videogame, film and TV industries.
Based on your experience, what advice would you give to somebody looking for a job in the games industry?
I was extremely fortunate in finding and succeeding in getting this job. Positions like this that don’t rely on prior work-experience within the industry are very rare. My advice is to keep up to date with everything that is happening, scour the games publications for opportunities, and keep your fingers firmly crossed!