The Evolution of Gaming and the Power of Networking

Welcome to the Player Engage Podcast, where we explore the biggest challenges, technologies, trends, and best practices for creating unforgettable player experiences. In this episode, our host Greg chats with Terry Haynes, a seasoned veteran from Tanglewood Games, about his journey through the gaming industry, the evolution of game development, and the critical role of networking.

Episode Highlights:

  • Terry’s Start in the Industry: Terry shares his beginnings in QA at Virgin Mastertronic and his progression through iconic companies like Sega and Probe Entertainment.
  • The Shift from Production to Business Development: Learn how Terry transitioned from production roles to business development and the opportunities that arose from networking.
  • The Importance of Networking: Terry and Greg discuss the “networking effect” and how it can break the ice in the industry, leading to potential collaborations and opportunities.
  • Evolution of Game Development Teams: A look back at how small teams used to manage entire game projects and how the industry has grown to require much larger, more specialized teams.
  • Co-Development Studios: Insights into the benefits of co-development studios and how they can provide flexibility and specialized skills to larger projects without the long-term commitment.
  • Trends in the Gaming Industry: Terry shares his thoughts on where the gaming industry is heading, including the potential for studios to rely more on co-development partnerships.

Memorable Quotes:

  • “You have to network, you have to keep in contact with people and you have to talk about your own business because no one else is going to talk about your business if you’re not going to talk about it.” – Terry Haynes
  • “Connect with people because they’re people… those people, more than likely in their career, will move on to a new venture or move on to a new company, may go and start their own business.” – Terry Haynes
  • “Having co-development studios out there is a huge benefit to the games industry and it’s a huge benefit to studios that are out in that field of kind of going, you can have the resources to make your game to the quality your game needs to be.” – Terry Haynes

Connect with Terry Haynes:

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AI Transcript Terry Haynes

Intro: 00:00: 00:15: Welcome to the Player Engage podcast, where we dive into the biggest challenges, technologies, trends, and best practices for creating unforgettable player experiences. Player Engage is brought to you as a collaboration between Keyword Studios and Helpshift. Here is your host, Greg Posner.
Greg Posner: 00:16: 00:46: Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Player Engaged Podcast. Greg here. Today, we are joined by Terry Haynes from Tanglewood Games. And I’m excited to be able to talk to Terry. He’s been in the industry for quite some time. He was the first person I actually connected with when we came to keywords and just a little bit about Terry. He was a business development manager for multiple studios like Electric Square, Studio Gobo, D3T, and now Tanglewood Games. He’s been in QA and he’s done a lot in the gaming industry. So Terry, thank you so much for coming here today. Is there anything you want to say about yourself?

Terry Haynes: 00:46: 01:49: Well, it’s a pleasure. Thanks for inviting me along, Greg. It’s good to be here. Yeah, I remember meeting you for the first time, I think it was GDC last year, I think it was in San Francisco. I kind of lose, I lose my years after COVID kind of played a kind of, was it pre-COVID, after COVID and all that sort of stuff. But yeah, as you say, I’ve been involved in the games industry since 1989, first starting off in QA at a company called Virgin Mastertronic, which some people may not even heard of. and then moving on to Sega and then moving on to Probe Entertainment. Probe was kind of like, I guess, the first kind of, not necessarily co-dev, but it will work for higher studios. So we did things for publishers such as Mortal Kombat. We did a load of Disney titles. We worked on the first FIFA back in 96 for EA and so forth. So yeah, there was a lot of, that was kind of my thing and I was in production those days and then slowly but surely kind of moved along into away from production and into more business development as I see today.

Greg Posner: 01:50: 02:39: I’m excited to talk to you about the business development costs. It may not make always the idea for the sexiest podcast out there, but you know, it’s one of these things that we talk about networking a lot on the podcast because networking is an important skill set that you kind of got to hone and get perfect. And I remember when I first come to Keywords, I’m like, oh shit, who am I going to reach out to? And I came up with a list of names and you were at the top and I reached out to you and you got right back to me. okay, it’s kind of like breaking the ice for the first time. So I want to make sure we talk about kind of the networking effect, what makes it so strong. But looking at the, I was looking at your LinkedIn, and the first thing that popped up, and probably not the most exciting one was, like you mentioned, QA testing, right? You were a QA tester back in the late 80s, early 90s. And I’m just curious, what was that like? Do you have any memories from that? Or was it just so nightmarish, you blacked it all out?

Terry Haynes: 02:39: 06:03: Yeah, no, I have memories of it being, I started when I was 17. And after the first week of being there, I turned around to someone on Friday and said, are we coming back on Monday? They went, yeah, this is a job. And I went, this is mental. Because I was a keen gamer. But like to think that you were getting paid to play games in QA back all those many years ago was extraordinary. But it’s I mean, the days of those are things that really stick in my head compared to today is that the industry was just so much smaller. It was not tiny, but it was a lot smaller than it is today, way, way smaller. And the teams on the games are smaller. Like, I remember working on games with people where you had one programmer, one artist, one designer who sometimes did the audio as well. And you might have a producer person, you may not have a producer person on it. And then you had the QA department, and that was it. I remember working with Dave Perry and Nick Brutti back in the day. Dave Perry’s been around the industry for a long time. He’s a bit of a legend in the industry. But yeah, it was Dave and Nick Brutti, and we had some audio done by Jerome Tell. And that was it. It was like three, four people. That, that was the size of the games back in those days. It’s kind of, these are the days of like ST and Amiga before, uh, Sega Mega Drive or Master System come along and then the Mega Drive. And then you had the Nintendo systems and stuff, but yeah, they were, they were very, there were small companies and I mean, small companies, small, small teams, not nothing compared to what it is. I worked when I worked at Virgin Mastertronic, we were, 32 people in the whole company, and that covered everything from a few people in the dev team, marketing, sales, accounts, HR, QA, everything. You get 32 artists plus now on a game. Do you know what I mean? It’s a different aspect. But no, it was great to be a part of, and it was great to be able to talk about those days and where it’s come from and how we went about making video games compared to the days now. the mistakes that were made and the learning curve by that generation really has allowed the industry today. It’s not, I mean, not, I’m not kind of waving my flag and it was all down to me and all down to people of my generation, my age, but I mean, we didn’t have like production tools. We didn’t have things like, I mean, waterfall and software to do stuff it was kind of an excel document and how long do you think this is going to take you and you put in eight hours 16 hours or two whatever and then kind of like it come out and go right that means it’s going to finish then it’s like oh yeah we need to make those things happen quicker because there was it wasn’t like you’re going oh let’s let’s put more resources on it wasn’t an awful lot of people making video games those days most of if not all of the engineers were self-taught in their bedroom so there was I can’t remember exactly the year that I met someone who joined the industry that went to university to come into the industry. Everybody was self-taught. Do you know what I mean? So it was a completely different environment back in those days, but extremely fun, extremely exciting. lots of young people living by the seat of their pants, trying to get stuff done. And yeah, it was it was a pleasure to be a part of it.

Greg Posner: 06:03: 06:18: Did you know this is something you want? I’m just trying to imagine kind of what the gaming scene was like back then, which I mean, calling it scene might be might be doing a lot of justice. But like, how do you get involved with something at that time? Or how do you even know that it’s going to be something or you just take a chance?

Terry Haynes: 06:18: 07:57: Yeah, no, I kind of fell into it. I mean, I left school at 16, didn’t go to college, didn’t go to university. It was very different in those days. And I kind of got a job. I saw something advertised saying they’re looking for QA, a local company, Virgin Mastertronic, and I applied for it. And there’s no way that back then we thought the industry would be as big as it is today. I mean, it’s impossible to kind of fathom. I guess the only way you can kind of compare it is it’s kind of like the early days, I guess, of TV and film. It’s like people got into it. I got into it because I like playing video games. I’m like, wow, I can test games. I’m a keen gamer. I played a lot of games and stuff. And the people, my peers that were doing the engineering side and the art side, The artists were guys and girls who were good at art at school and then because everything was 2D, you know what I mean? And it was like stuff. So they like went, oh, I’m going to bring this and I’m going to fall into it. I mean, we had people coming into the industry. from like comic books and like 20th century AD we had some artists who had worked originally on like dread comic books and stuff and they were using their skills and then finding that they could bring them into computerized and they could go, I can do some stuff in video games here because your drawing sank in 2D, you can use a computer to draw stuff in 2D. Animations were very kind of I know, eight frame walk cycles and stuff like that. And yeah, and I mean, I think the first game I worked on was on the Spectrum and we had to get the whole thing done in 48K. Yeah, it was a different world, different beast back then, that’s for sure.

Greg Posner: 07:58: 08:19: So then time goes on, right? You’re, you’re doing different things with different companies with, uh, you were a producer, you were in recruitment, you were at hot gen for, for a little under or a little over a decade. And then you, you come to electric square where you begin doing business development manager. How did you kind of fall into that type of role? Is that something that drew you or is that.

Terry Haynes: 08:20: 11:43: When I worked at Prog Entertainment, I worked alongside people like Tony Beckwith. And for people who are listening to the pod, Tony Beckwith was a guy that formed a studio called Climax Racing that then got acquired by Disney and become BlackRock. And they did certain games such as, I mean, Tony Beckwith and the team at BlackRock, they did some incredible stuff for Disney. And we just stayed friends. And while he was doing that, I was working at HotGen. I ended up running HotGen for a few years when Ferguson McGovern who previously used to run HotGen. It’s kind of all entwined. Everybody knows everybody in that generation of making games. And he decided to retire and I took over running HotGen and therefore I learned to kind of run a business as such to the capabilities that we could run it at. I then decided to step away from HotGen and I wanted to take a bit of a break. HotGen were doing a lot of stuff in interactive toys, plug and play stuff that you might have seen in America. There was a huge massive success in those markets with a company called Jack’s Pacific. I was taking a break and I caught up with Tony and he asked me how Hot Gem was going. And I said, I don’t know, I’ve left. And he was like, no way. And then he called me up a couple of days later and said, do you fancy lunch? I might have something I need some help with. I went down to see him in I think it was 2007, if my memory serves me right, and met him for lunch, met Tom Williams, met Jim Callan, met Paul Aliff, who were the other directors and owners of Studio Gobo at that stage. Studio Gobo owned Electric Square and Tony wanted someone to come in, do a little bit of biz dev, but also help with some recruitment. And the size of Gobo and Electric Square at that stage They were about, Cross Studio was about 45, 47, something like that. A lot smaller than that. So I joined and I was like, yeah, I’ll come and do this for a few months. I’m going on holiday in August with a family. I’ll do three months and yeah, we’ll see where it takes us. So we got into it. really started enjoying it. Uh, and then Tony asked me if I wanted to extend the contract to the end of the year. And I was like, yeah, why not? I mean, like I can only play so much golf and, uh, so extended it to the end of the year. And as we went through that year, it was like, yeah, look, do you want this as a full-time job? We’re really enjoying having you around. I was really enjoying being part of it all. And, um, and it went from there really. So it wasn’t kind of moving into business development, um, or running something from like Hot Gen into Studio Gobo Electric Square wasn’t a path that was kind of like defined. And I went, I’m going to go and do this. It was kind of just a lucky meet up with Tony over a couple of beers one evening. And it was like, I told him I was doing nothing. And he was like, yeah, look, can you come and help? And that’s how a lot of people of our generation have kind of done stuff. So even though this is going back, what, seven, eight years ago sort of thing, it’s it was kind of still done on that kind of like you, you get to work with people that you trust and you want to work with people that you enjoy working with. So it kind of evolved around that really. So it wasn’t, as I said, it wasn’t a path seeking kind of like I’m going to go into business development. It kind of evolved around me doing business development and helping them with a little bit of recruitment at that stage within their business.

Greg Posner: 11:44: 12:00: It all, I hate to sound like a broken record, right? But it always comes back down to networking, right? Whether you’re just grabbing a beer with an old friend at the bar, whether you’re talking to someone on the phone, right? It’s about keeping in touch and getting those opportunities that you’ve built that trust over years and it becomes easy for lack of better words.

Terry Haynes: 12:00: 14:38: Yeah, no, networking is the key. I highlight it like yourself, Greg. It’s kind of like you have to network, you have to keep in contact with people and you have to You have to talk about your own business because no one else is going to talk about your business if you’re not going to talk about it. But you have to network. You have to try and get out there. You have to try and see people at conferences. You have to find the time to do stuff. It could be just a simple thing of just replying to an email or replying to a WhatsApp or whatever it may be. It’s kind of just keeping that connectivity going. It’s difficult. It’s not easy. It’s not easy to kind of run your business and stay connected to everybody as well as having your family life and stuff like that. But it’s trying to find that part and trying to find that bit where you can connect with people on a regular basis as you can do. And as you say, bumping into some, how many business opportunities and deals and structure that have just been coincidental meeting people in in bars and stuff. And the whole thing of networking, especially it’s things like shows, it is kind of like if you’ve worked with someone and they respect you and you respect them, you have a, you’re always going to recommend them because you respect what they do. And hopefully that’s reciprocated and that they’re going to recommend you. So when you’re at conferences, I will say to people like, I mean, try and find the most popular hotel lobby, try and find the most popular bar area, catch up with some old friends, If you see your friends or you know someone’s talking to somebody you don’t know, go over and say hi and try and get introduced. Because the amount of times I’ve kind of said to people, oh, you should speak to Yuzu because, yeah, you’re looking for the same thing. And that’s been pushed my way as well. And we all kind of pushed that around. It’s mainly in those circumstances due to the fact that someone might be looking for something specifically that your business doesn’t. um have and stuff but you know someone who can help them and stuff and if you’re going to recommend someone to a friend or a business acquaintance they’re going to take your recommendation it’s kind of it’s it’s a lot better than cold calling and so forth and it just goes a long way because I’d like to think that um if I was introducing you to someone Greg or you was introducing me to someone People are going to respect your introduction and they’re going to go, well, if Greg says you’re cool, then I should speak to you. And I like to think that people think that, I know if Terry says you’re cool, then yeah, we should have a conversation and stuff. So it’s the key to everything. Networking is the key to everything, especially from my line of business.

Greg Posner: 14:38: 15:23: I love the way you put that because every enterprise deal or almost every enterprise deal I ever worked on, right? It wasn’t the Zoom calls. It wasn’t the presentation. It wasn’t the demo that actually won us the deal, right? It was the social aspect to it, right? Go out, grab a beer, go get dinner, right? It’s going to cost the company money, but like you build these, you form these relationships that are just much more powerful. And I think the trust level, like you’re mentioning is great because you know, when you’re at a hotel lobby at a bar at a conference, so is everyone else at a hotel lobby at a bar in a conference, they don’t probably know as many people as you do either. So most people won’t go bite your head off if you go say hi, especially if you ask them questions about themselves. People love to talk about themselves. So like, just ask them what they do for a living, right? And ask them how they do it. And all of a sudden, you start building this relationship. And I think it’s fantastic.

Terry Haynes: 15:23: 18:35: Yeah, no, definitely. I think that’s the key. Let me not necessarily gonna have to have for the people who don’t don’t drink, you don’t have to be drinking beer or wine or or your vodkas or anything, you can have a Coke. And I mean, I kind of go through stages of like, I’m having a drink and I’m not having a drink and stuff and so forth. And I’ve still had great nights out and socially having lots of diet Cokes and so forth and drinking water and so forth. So you haven’t got to hit the alcohol, but what you have to do is you have to hit the social. That’s the key to it. The social is the key to it. It’s not And it’s not necessarily about who you’re working with. I always try to look at events that are coming up and try to reach out to people that we’ve done business with or companies we are doing business with. But I also try to scout the industry because it’s such a beast now and there’s new companies popping up all the time in different locations around the world. I always try to have a look at companies and kind of go, I’ve never met them before. what are they all about? Let me see if I can. And just, have you got 15 minutes? Can we meet? And people are there going, what about the end of the night? Or the end of the meeting? I’m going to be in, let’s use GDC for example, I’m going to be in the W or the Intercontinental or the Regis. Are you going to be there? Yeah, great. I’ll come and say hi and we’ll have a 15 minute chat and see where it takes us. And if it’s not the right thing for either party, then it’s not the right thing for either party, but you’ve made another contact and stuff. And the other thing I always say to people is that I am who I am and you are who you are. Yeah. And I’ve worked at Electric Square and Gobo and D3T and I wore those badge and I wore that with pride. They were great companies and they still are great companies. I’ve got lots of friends there and I still talk to those people on a regular basis. I’m now working at Tanglewood Games. That doesn’t change me as an individual. And Tanglewood Games offer a different service than those companies offer. So me keeping my connections and companies that I might have spoke to in my Gobo days or Electric Square days or D3T days, that didn’t really fit what those companies were offering may change now from a Tanglewood point of view, because Tanglewood are a different entity and so forth. And I always say to people, don’t always kind of connect with people because it’s the company. Connect with people because they’re people. You know what I mean? Because those people, more than likely in their career, will move on to a new venture or move on to a new company, may go and start their own business. The days of our parents and our grandparents working at a company for 25 years and getting a little carriage clock to sit on their mantelpiece. They’ve gone. They’ve gone in 25, 30 years of business. People are probably working for at least probably, I don’t know, six, seven, eight, maybe even 10 companies and stuff. And so, yeah, it’s more about meeting the people than it is as well as much as it is about meeting the companies. It’s about meeting the people, because if someone moves to another client or potential client, then that gives you DNA into that organization.

Greg Posner: 18:36: 19:25: And that’s why it’s important to build trust as an individual, not necessarily a company that you’re representing, because then you trust the person, right? Maybe it’s not the best fit for the product. We’re trying to push you, but it’s my job to be honest with you and sell you that. But, um, let’s talk a little bit about games because, you know, when you’re a co-developer, you often don’t quite, people might not quite understand the types of games that you’re building. Right. I remember when I started at Keywords, I’m just like, what types of games are they making here? And then you look at the list, you’re just like, Wow. So I feel like electric square gobo d3t were some of the keywords larger studios. Are there specific games and I don’t even know if you’re allowed to talk about this, but let’s let’s give it a shot here. Like, are there specific games that you remember being a part of or at least like seeing in the studio that you’re like, wow, that’s awesome. I can’t wait to play this or give it a shot.

Terry Haynes: 19:25: 24:49: Yeah, I think my days of playing games are far probably behind me due to the fact that The younger people are far quicker on the controllers than me, and I’m a little bit all fingers and thumbs in those multiplayer games. I prefer playing single player because at least I’m not getting shot by someone. I would say using Gobo as an example, I joined Gobo and they’d previously worked on Disney Infinity, and they’d done four packs of Disney Infinity, which were incredibly successful, great games, really well reviewed, really well respected from the industry. and they sold really well as well. The Metacritic on those games were 80 highs and into 90s. So sometimes the industry will look at that and go, oh, you’ve made Disney Infinity. And they just think it’s a family-orientated game. You’re kind of pigeonholed into like, oh, if we want to make a family-orientated game, we should go and speak to these people because they make family-orientated games. When you take away or scratch away the surface of something like Disney Infinity and really look at the design of those games and the content that’s in those games the creativity that’s in their games. It’s kind of you realize how good some team like Studio Gobo is. I would say one of the pillows in taking Gobo from a Disney infinity into where they are today is when I worked with Ubisoft on For Honor. So you’ve gone from Disney Infinity, Mickey Mouse, all Pirates of the Caribbean, all of the licenses within the Disney World to For Honor, Hack and Slash, Melee, very hardcore fighting games. So you’ve got kid-friendly Mickey Mouse to now I’m going to chop off your head, plan a multi-set. Those are the genres of the games, but the quality and content within people making those games is still the underneath and under the belly of it. So I would say For Honor was a big turning point in Studio Gobo’s career. And I think lots of companies need those pillows and defining pillars that allow you to kind of step onto another game. I think every studio would have that. I mean, Electric Square, when I was there, I can talk about these games because they’re in the public domain. And this is my opinion. It’s people at Electric Square, Gobo, and D3T may disagree, but I would say Electric Square, when they were working on Forza Street, it was set up as a racing studio, it was set up as a mobile studio, so Forza Street was a big racing game on there. A lot of people who were part of Electric Square were ex-boss aliens, so they had done CSR racing and so forth. And they brought that to the thing. And then over time, Electric Square then went and done the grand tour for Amazon and stuff, which was an incredible feat of engineering and get that game out on a weekly basis to coincide with a show. If anyone ever does a talk on that, I think people really appreciate what went on behind the scenes to get that game out. It was when I was part of Electric Square, I always put it in a presentation. It wasn’t the most successful game that was out there compared to other games. To get a game and develop that in 14 months from start to finish. And for 13 Fridays, get a game out every Friday that coincided like, you’ve just watched the show, now you can go and play the show. I think it’s an incredible feat of the amount of content that had to be developed in that time and the tools and systems that those incredibly talented people created. Yeah, Gobo was that. But the other thing with Electric Square is they were doing the racing games. And then again, pillars of kind of like, changed people’s perception of what Electric Square is all about. I think things such as they’ve announced they were working on Assassin’s Creed VR, they’ve obviously announced that they were working on and it’s out in the public domain of Diablo. with Activision Blizzard. So these are games which are far distance away from racing games. And these are pillars within that studio that allow other companies to kind of go, oh, wow, you guys can go and do this. But what you sometimes need is you just need a company to take that chance on you and go, yes, we believe you can do this because we’ve had several meetings. We understand what the talent you have within there. And it’s not all just about making games in this genre. So I would say For my time at Gobo and Electric Square, I would say those were the key points. My time at D3T, I was only there for kind of a year. So the stuff that I worked on for a business development is stuff that’s still in development. So I can’t talk about that. But the other games which kind of stick in their mind, I would say is the guys at D3T would be able to give you a thing. But I think Hogwarts Legacy was really good for them as a business. It was good for lots of companies. Again, Gobo went from For Honor into Hyperscape with Ubisoft and then worked on Hogwarts Legacy for four and a half years and created a huge amount of content within that game and stuff. So that again was a good pillar for a thing. It’s kind of like Disney Infinity, For Honor. Hogwarts Legacy and now they’re working on a new game which they’ve publicly announced they’re working with Guerrilla. That’s as much as I can say on that other than what’s in the public domain and stuff but again I think that will be another pillar and another for them to kind of expand and show the worth of what that studio is all about.

Greg Posner: 24:50: 25:52: It’s fun to kind of hear, for lack of better words, but you can almost call it like a flex, like what are these studios able to create? And I love your way you’re putting it, like give them a chance in another type of game. I mean, we see that from, was it a creative assembly right now, right? They tried to create hyenas and whatever that was going to be, right? And maybe it didn’t work out, but I mean, the game looked like it was going to be successful, but they pulled the plug on it. But, you know, if you don’t give these studios opportunities to try to build new games, you’re just going to be stuck in a rut. And then you have what’s coming out as a suicide squad, right? Kill the, uh, kill the, uh, whatever. Right. It’s like, uh, Rocksteady doesn’t even look like the old Rocksteady. And then everyone just kind of pigeonholes them into what type of game they think they can create it. And like, That’s why we hear a lot of prose about co-development right now, even from a mentality of in the studio, right? Like you’re not forced to work on your own IPs. You get to start working on different types of tools and that just helps individuals as well, right? You don’t just create the same character over and over again. Yeah.

Terry Haynes: 25:52: 26:46: And I mean, one of the things I will say to people about working at co-development studios is that You get to touch a lot of games and work on a lot of games over a period of time that if you were working in a studio, and solely working at that studio, you may only work on that one game. So let’s, I mean, for argument’s sake, let’s mention like Rockstar Games. I mean, amazing. Rockstar Games are incredible. I can’t wait for Grand Theft Auto 6 to come out. Grand Theft Auto V was the last game that I officially took two days off work to play. I took two days off, went and bought it, got a load of popcorn, crisps, coke, chocolate and everything. I remember my two boys were still at school and they were envious. They were like, that’s just outrageous, Dad. I’m like, you’re not old enough to play it anyway. They were like,

Greg Posner: 26:46: 26:50: Did you do it on Xbox or PlayStation? PlayStation.

Terry Haynes: 26:50: 32:07: But yeah, but it’s it was so. But the people who works on that, works on that for a long time. And then again, if you kind of look at it and go, well, GTA five’s been out, GTA six is coming. It’s kind of like the people in that studio have worked on it for a long time. And I’m sure it will be. It’s going to be highly anticipated to come out, and I’m sure it’s going to be a huge success based on the quality of the games they’ve produced before. However, there’s people in our industry, and rightly so, that want to work on games like that. And there’s other people in our industry who go, I don’t know if I can be working on a game for like six years or five years or whatever it is. The fatigue comes into that. I mean, it’s just the way we’re all made up. It’s horses for courses. If you’re a person that wants to work on maybe a game for a couple of years or 18 months or whatever it may be, then co-development studios is a great place for you to sit because you can go and work for those studios. such as what we’re doing where we are now at Tanglewood and what I’ve done previously within the Keyword Studios and you get to work on a lot of games over the same period of time. You may not have exactly the same amount of input into that game as someone who’s worked on it for a big period of time but it’s that kind of mentality. It’s kind of like if people are working on the same thing all the time they sometimes go I’m a bit bored. I need I need a change. I want to go and work on something else. And if that option isn’t there in their company, they will probably go and look for that option elsewhere and stuff. So it’s, there’s no one size fits all in game development. It’s very kind of every person is an individual. And also, your studios like Rockstar, your studios like Sony Santa Monica, your studios like Naughty Dog, stuff. Others, I mean, studios around Guerrilla, for example. Insomniac. Insomniac, that’s it. Thank you. Thank you. But yeah, so the guys like something to me, their destination studios, you know, I mean, their studios like if I’m, I’m 52 by the end of this month, and If I kind of think of, if I was like 30 years younger and I was coming out of a university and trying to get into the games industry, I’d be looking at those studios going, I once had those on my CV. They’re destination studios. I know co-development studios are working very hard to become destination studios. It’s always going to be a a tricky hurdle to climb and get over for those studios. But there are studios that people go, I want to work at that studio. I want to work at those studios. And I’m sure there’s more up and coming studios out there as well that have got games in development and stuff. There’s a few that I can think of, but I won’t name because they’re working on products and their product’s not out at the moment. That’s, I mean, if you’re young and enthusiastic and like everybody is in the games, we’re all enthusiastic. Those are the studios I think you kind of like, you aim to be a part of. So I don’t know if someone will work at any of those companies for the lifetime of their career in video games. They may do, but they might just use it as a stop and go, I want to, I want to tick that box. I want to scratch that itch. I need to go and do that. And I mean, there was a young guy who, When I was doing recruitment at Gobo, we went to a university. It was a company in Game Assembly over in Malmo, and it’s a very strong university that brings a lot of talent into the games industry. And we met him, we interviewed him, we flew him over to Brighton, met him, we took him out to dinner, showed him, we offered him an internship and a position at a company. And I asked him why he got into video games, why he wanted to make video games. He went, oh, because of Rare. He said, I wanted to make video games because of Rare, because I played Rare games when I was younger and I loved them and blah, blah. And he got offered an internship at Rare. And he said, I’ve been offered something at Rare. I said, well, congratulations. Good luck at Rare. And he went, do you not want me to come? I went, no, no. You have to go and work for Rare. Because he was young. He was only 22. It’s not like he’s 50 and he’s going to retire soon. It’s like, you have to go and do that. Because in my eyes, it was kind of like, If you don’t go and do that and you come to work at someone like Gobo or another company, in the back of his head he probably began, I wonder what it was like. And that was the company that made him want to make video games. So in that instance, you have to go and do that. And we fully encouraged him to go and do that and stuff. And I don’t know if he’s, I believe he’s still not there. I believe he’s at another company now. I won’t mention who he is. But we stay in contact and He always thanked me for that. He said, thank you very much. He goes, I said, no, you had to do it. I said, because if you didn’t do it, you’d always have that thing in the back of your mind going, I wonder what it was like. I wonder what it is. And you may not get that opportunity again. And it may be saying you’ll regret forever. So I think there are destination studios and in co-development, there’s going to be a group and there’s going to be masses of people who want to work for co-development studios and so forth. And some people might want a bit of a mix of both.

Greg Posner: 32:08: 33:06: Yeah, I love that story. I mean, I think we all had a game that kind of turned us on to gaming and say, hey, this is an awesome, right? Awesome opportunity. And GoldenEye for someone that’s my age is one of those types of games. It’s just like, wow, that’s changed gaming, right? And yeah, maybe Rare isn’t what it was years ago. It’s making a great name, I think, for itself again. But like, scratch that itch, right? I love the idea of a destination studio, because that’s insomniac. I imagine being able to tell someone you worked on Spider-Man 2. And I think that it’s awesome. I mean, seeing what these studios are building itself are like new innovations, like the quick travel on Spider-Man. It is fun to see how gaming’s progressing. And these destination studios are the ones that are building a lot of those experiences. I’m not saying co-development aren’t as well. usually doesn’t get credited as easy. But like, I think it’s an awesome way to put it is like work for your dream studio, learn what you can and then go from there. Because that’s what this industry is. That’s what most industries are to learn what you can at one place, bring that knowledge from another place.

Terry Haynes: 33:06: 34:29: Exactly. And if if we look at a studio that we kind of mirror and as such is like video, like film and stuff like that TV and film is like, people go and work for the big studios, they go and work for the MGM and Fox and stuff like that. And then those people learn their craft and they learn their they understand the business more, etc, etc. And then they might go off and create their own production company and go and make their own film and stuff like that. But they’re never going to be able to do that or very, very tricky to do that straight out of a university and so forth. So you have to go and learn, like, I always say to people, like, try and try and get into an organisation where there’s, like, if you’re coming out of university, do something with friends and have some fun doing that, and hopefully be successful. But try and go to the company where you can like really learn, it’s like try and be that sponge and try and absorb as much as you can and take in and stuff. And, and as an industry, we need to be doing that as well, because we’re now getting to a point in our industry where people are starting to retire. Yeah, and that shows the maturity of where we are as an industry now, is people are starting to retire and we need to be sharing that knowledge because we can’t take that knowledge away with us. So there must be ways of how we can transport that knowledge and transfer that knowledge into the younger generation of today and stuff. So yeah, that’s my kind of take on that.

Greg Posner: 34:30: 35:18: It’s an interesting conversation kind of where gaming is going, because that’s a great point that some of our veterans in the industry are going to start to step down and it’s opportunity for new people to kind of step up and make a name for themselves. We also, the demographic that plays games are changing on how they play, right? Back in the day, no one would even fathom that Twitch is a thing and people are going to watch people play games. Now we see a lot of the younger generations are watching people play as much as their playing game. And I think that changes the strategies of how you create games, what type of games you want to create. So with all that terrible intro of me saying that is like, where do you believe gaming is going to be going? Like, what are the big things you as a business development manager kind of are focusing on noticing trends in the industry for 2024? And is there anything specific that excites you?

Terry Haynes: 35:18: 43:29: Before I answer the question, I’d say one thing on the watching of Twitch and people watching it, I remember my two sons and i’m not saying they’re the marketplace and stuff like that but obviously they’re two boys that have grown up around video games they play a lot of video games and i remember going in i’m like oh what are you playing they went and i was just watching this and i’m like what what are you watching they were watching some youtube videos on minecraft and doing i’m like going why are you watching video just play the game i said why are you watching it and my youngest son said why do you sit on the sofa and watch football on a sunday and i was like And it was such a light bulb in my head. I was like, yeah, I’ve grown up watching football, so I want to watch football or soccer, as the Americans call it. But to him, he wanted to watch other people play video games and stuff, because that was just the generation of where it is. So it was a very kind of light bulb. With regards to new trends and where we might be going in the video games and how we’re looking to work. I don’t see 2024 being any different from the other years with regards to… I don’t think anyone’s going to come out with an amazing new genre and so on and so forth. I think the big changes that will happen this year and the benefit of co-development is… I think the benefit of co-development studios, and I’ve said this to a few people, is that If you want to expand your studio, you’ve got to try and hire in 20, 30, 40 people. So you’ve got a studio of maybe 50 people and you’re looking to expand, you have options. The options are you can go and work with a co-development studio and they can bring the additional resources to you, or you can go and hire those additional resources. If you go down the hiring route, it’s going to take you time to find those people and you’ve got to find the right people to the right caliber of people you want. And the most important thing is, you’ve got to find and make sure that those people are going to be able to work with each other. Working with a co-development studio, someone like Tanglewood or the other studios that we mentioned, Gobo’s Electric Square, is at Tanglewood we’ve got people that have worked with each other for the last 10 years. If you come and work with someone like us or other studios in that co-development You’ve already got over that hurdle of like, are these people going to be able to work with each other? Is there going to be anyone at loggerheads? Is it going to be mixed? They’re all clever people, but are they going to gel and stuff like that? Well, with a co-development studio, you’ve already got those gel. A, you’ve got a high caliber of individuals that are working somewhere, so that ticks them off for you. B, you’ve already got a caliber of people that are used to working with each other and understand how each other works and stuff like that. The benefits of working with co-development are massive, I think. I just think that it’s where the industry will continue to grow and grow. I think that as an industry, we had a hard time in 2023. I think a lot of people grew. Obviously, they did grow in the pandemic years because they needed to get resources on board because they wanted to get content out because people were spending more money on video games because we could go nowhere else in the world. But now the world’s reopened, so people’s disposable income is now being spent on the things that it was being spent on in 2018 and 2019. It’s like, I’m going for a restaurant with a wife, or I’m taking the kids on holiday, or we’re going to this, or we’re going to that, and et cetera, et cetera. So my disposable income is now being spread across the 15 to 20 things that it was spread on before. When we was in lockdown, my disposable income was either spent on doing my house up, Netflix, Disney Plus subscription, Paramount prescription, or playing video games. And video games was a big thing because you could interact with that and stuff. Or doing online pub quizzes and stuff, which everyone got into. But I think with the downsides and the downscaling of the industry last year, it comes with negative press for companies. And that’s unfortunate. But when an organization decides to reduce their scope and reduce their size. They have to let those people go. That comes with the negative press that comes with it and the press jump on that bandwagon and rightly so and stuff. And as an industry, we’re out there trying to support each other, everyone via LinkedIn. It’s like, oh, we’ve heard this is going, this is going. And I think the industry has really tried to help those people who’ve been unfortunately have been let go from wherever they were previously working and try to come together as an industry and be stronger for it. I think going forward, I think people might be looking at that and kind of going, well, we only want to get to an internal team of X big. And that X could be anything. There’s no magic number on that. It could be 50 people, 100 people, 150 people, whatever. I think I’m going to be surprised if I see internal studios get over like 150 people, even for the big, big studios. And the reason for that is I think they will get to a number where they kind of go, yeah, we’re happy with this. We can keep this internal studio. We can have this burn rate, et cetera. And we’ll just build our team with external resources to make the game. And then when the game comes out or when that external resources contract finishes, if when I was at Gobo and then I was at Tanglewood and Electric Square, when Gobo and D3T, when we finished working on Hogwarts Legacy and D3T finished working on Hogwarts Legacy and Tanglewood finished working on Hogwarts Legacy and Redkite was working on it and Certain Affinity working on it, when all those external studios were there, there was no bad press towards Warner Brothers. I mean no one wrote, oh Warner Brothers have got rid of these studios. That was part of our contract. That was part of our agreement. Everyone knew what was happening. So I think maybe I like to think that’s the way the industry is going to go. I like to think that the industry will look at that scenario. And again, if I look at film as being a kind of an industry, which kind of I always look in comparison to video games is if you go and watch a big movie, five, 10% of the people who work on that movie are probably employed full time at MGM and the other 90, 95% of people a work for hire people. It’s like you’re not going to hire cameramen 24 hours, like a day, 12, 12 months a year. You’re going to hire your cameraman when you need your camera. You’re going to, you’re hiring your makeup artist when you need your makeup artist and you’re hiring your editors when you need your editors. And it’s the same, similar thing in video games. You’re going to hire the engineers when you need the engineers. You’re going to hire the artists when you need the artists. And you’re going to hire the QA people when you need the QA people and audio and so on and so forth with that. So I think it’s, Having co-development studios out there is a huge benefit to the games industry and it’s a huge benefit to studios that are out in that field of kind of going, you can have the resources to make your game to the quality your game needs to be. You don’t necessarily have to have all these people internally. I’m not saying it’s for every single company out there, because there will be some companies who do decide to have everything internally within their studio. But there are going to be studios out there who go, we only want to be this size. And then we can hire these people in for six months, 12 months, two years, three years. Gobo works on Hogwarts for over four years and stuff. So there is going to be that need. And when they come to cut the cloth, and that’s kind of a maybe a silly way to say that the contract come to the end. Everybody knew what was happening. And at that stage, at Gobo and at Tanglewood, we can see that the contract’s going to end. We’ll be talking to our clients about, oh, are we extending? Do you want to extend? The game is being released. You know, that’s not going to happen. So X amount of time before that is, I mean, whatever that may be for that business, you start looking around for other opportunities and stuff for your team. And so, so I think Co-development has huge advantages, but I’m saying that from a co-development point of view, but I do believe it has huge advantages for people with regards to like, you can turn it on and turn it off when you want to. And you’ll get an experienced team that know how to work with each other and know how to dig into the trenches when the trouble kind of comes along. And it does, unfortunately. Video games are hard to make.

Greg Posner: 43:29: 44:07: Yeah, and I think with that being said, right, you’re going to need a good business development manager at the end of the day, right? Because if there’s more of these co-development studios that are being built up, right, it’s going to come down to A, the type of talent that you have on board with the type of games you can create, the portfolio that we were talking about earlier, and also kind of, again, your network, right? Who are we actually selling these games to? Are we able to go to Microsoft? Are we able to go to Sony? Are we able to go to these people and get business there, right? Because I think there are a lot of pros to co-development, but We don’t often talk about the cons of pro development. I actually can’t think of many other than maybe you don’t internally have the resources. But when you’re just trying to create a game, right, like, here are your specs, go create your game.

Terry Haynes: 44:07: 47:22: So in the code development world that I’ve always been in, we’ve we’ve always joined upon it, we’ve not been the lead developer on it. So we’ve not kind of a product is normally come to us where For example, when we was at Gobo, we joined For Honor on the day that it got released and worked on the DLC stuff. We joined Hogwarts when it was about a year, year and a half in development. So Avalanche would already have something up and running. A lot of companies that we work with now within the Tanglewood world are kind of going through a pre-production, may get to a vertical slice. They found that fun within their game. And now they’re kind of going, oh, we found the fun. And saying you found fun and finding fun, It’s kind of like, how long is a piece of string? It’s difficult. But once they found that and go, this feels really, really good, we need to build more of this. That’s where they then go and look for co-development studios to do it. So it’s about offering the right resources at the right time. And the only way you get to offer the right resources at the right time is by networking and keeping that communication loop open. of where potential opportunities are coming. For me, it’s not about, I’m talking to you on a Friday, what do you need on a Monday? I’m having conversations with people about, look, this is our roadmap for 2024. We have some availability here. We have some availability in the second half of the year. What’s your roadmap looking like? And those conversations six years ago were kind of alien to a lot of people. They’re like, oh, wow, we’re really trying to plan ahead and stuff. And it’s like, yeah. And now, it becomes a norm where people are talking about, oh, we might need some help in January, January 2025. And it’s just like, okay, fair enough. Let’s, let’s have that conversation. Let’s, let’s have it because what you want to be happening there. And one of the things that we did a tangle with and stuff is if we can have those conversations on earlier and it’s not like we’re having those conversations every week or having those conversations every month we’re having conversations we’re talking about your game we’re talking about your game and how we might be able to help you make your game and get your game to during that period of time what it allows us to do is develop it understands a vision of what your game is all about it understands what you’re trying to create your roadmap for that game and so on so if we are going to be your chosen or one of your chosen co-developments, because there’s traditionally more than one because of the different services people are offering, is when we joined that product, we’ve kind of met most, if not all of your leadership team and most of the development team, we’ve probably visited your studio. You’ve probably visited our studio. We’ve already been out for meals and a few beers or whatever you’re doing socially, building up that rapport and stuff. So when we do officially start, it’s not like the first day of school and you’re going around and going, oh, nice to meet you. Or you’re going, yeah, okay, well, we know what you’re doing because we’ve had meetings about this. Because the whole benefit of doing that is that The client knows what they’re bringing you on board for. We know what the client’s bringing us on board for, and we’re doing that. And we’re having those pre-conversations that when we hit the ground, we hit the ground running. All of the IT infrastructure is set up, all the perforce is set up and everything else. These are hugely beneficial. And you only get to do those opportunities if you can engage with people very early in the process and having those conversations.

Greg Posner: 47:24: 47:45: hate to kind of change the topic of conversation here. We’re getting close to the top of the hour here. And I want to make sure we talk about something that excites me the most on what you’ve worked on. And that’s you being on the board of directors for Games Aid. I think it’s a fantastic charity. You’ve raised over 4.4 million pounds. You’ve been around for 15 years. And every time I log on to LinkedIn, someone’s talking about the go-kart

Terry Haynes: 47:46: 58:17: uh go-kart thing that keywords if you’re looking to send anyone go-karting you can you can send me over i’m happy to do it but can you tell us a little bit about games day where that kind of idea stemmed from it and yes the games aid was founded as you might say 15 years ago i wasn’t involved 15 years ago it was formed by a lot of people who are now extremely senior within the games industry um who were senior within their organizations at the time, people like Stuart Dinsey, who’s a Curve, Andy Payne, who’s a British Esports and Mastertronic, Charles Cecil, Ian Livingston, Sir Ian Livingston now, he’d probably hate me calling him Sir Ian Livingston, so I’ll call him Ian Livingston, and there’s a whole group of people who set up and then over time they attracted more people to get involved because you would only get involved as a trustee as it was described for a minimum of kind of three years, you could do a little bit longer, but a minimum of three years. And once you’ve done your three years, you would go and get someone else to get involved. And they would become a trustee and you would be able to step back and other people would get the baton and roll run with it and stuff like that. So Games Aid is an umbrella organisation. So I say the easiest way I can explain it to people is kind of like, it’s a bit like Comic Relief in the UK or Stand Up For Cancer, where it kind of looks to raise as much money as it possibly can. And then that money gets distributed to smaller charities within the UK. It’s a UK charitable organization. And the charities are chosen by the members. So anyone within the video games industry, big or small, old or young, can become a member of Games Aid. It’s free to become a member of Games Aid Um, and what that allows is you get a monthly newsletter saying all these things that are happening in games, things like the go-karting, comedy nights, etc, etc. And then all our members get to vote. So all our members get to nominate charities. So any charity which they believe they want to support and nominate, they can nominate. We do a due diligence on those. Uh, due diligence is based on the overheads have to be less than 3 million pound and the turnover. and the expenditure on that is to be less than 28%. So your overheads are less than 28% of whatever you’re generating. If you generate over 3 million, you kind of fall outside of that, because we’re looking to support those small local charities. And those small local charities will be doing anything from children with severe disabilities and born with maybe short lifetime expectations, up to charities where they’re looking after people who unfortunately might find themselves homeless from the ages 16 to 22, and stuff. So there’s different charities around the country that are different. And then once they go through the due diligence, we then have a voting process and every member gets to vote. And then the five or six charities, depending on the funding that’s happened that year, the highest votes, they become our selected charities for that year. So they then from April through to March, the charities are selected and whatever funds are raised for that year, then that gets equally distributed. across the charities and then again we go around the cycle and every year we get to vote again and vote again and vote again. One of the first charities that Games Aid supported was a charity called Special Effect which everyone has probably heard of Special Effect Worldwide now. But they create specialist controllers with young children and adults with severe disabilities and so forth. So people playing FIFA or Forza with their lives to like head and neck controllers where people are playing, which is an incredible charity. And they were the one, the first that we supported and so forth. And we’ve allowed them, well, not us allowing them, but we’ve, I’d like to think, provided them with a platform an engagement with the games industry that the games industry has really absorbed them because they are making games accessible to everybody and they’re an incredible bunch and we work we still work very close with them they’re not one of our charities we support at the moment because they’ve gone outside the funding window but we still speak to each other on a regular basis just due to the relationship that we have and to be honest we still speak with most of the charities that we’ve supported over the years on a regular basis and stuff. Events that we do We just try to bring people together and have fun and try to, on a serious note, explain why we’re doing and what we’re doing. And the reason I got involved with Games Aid is because the games industry has been really good to me. I joined when I was 17. I left school. I got in QA. I’m still doing this now at nearly 52. Come April, it’ll be 35 years I’ve been in the games industry. And I’ve been to some amazing cities around the world. I’ve been to some amazing conferences. I’ve met some incredible people, people I’d never even dreamed of meeting and stuff like that. And yeah, and I’ve been very, very fortunate. And I always thought that I wanted to give something back. So I’ve been a part of Games Aid on two different stages for six, seven years, back in 2016 to 19, and then more recently 20 through to today and stuff. But my tenure is coming to the end soon. So I’m going to have to step down after doing my bit and hopefully roping some more people to kind of carry the baton on. But it doesn’t mean I’m stepping away. On a day-to-day basis of running Games Age, yes, I’ll be stepping away from it. But on a basis of helping putting on events such as the go-karting, the comedy nights, the gang in the van, the develop tombolas and things like that, yeah, I’ll still be involved with them. It’s very difficult to leave that stuff behind once it kind of grabs you. It grabs you by the heart and you kind of go, Yeah, I mean, this industry is a great industry and we all do very well. I mean, we’ve all had, I mean, financially, not just financially, I was wrong there really. We just all do well because we’re working in an industry that we love. Do you know what I mean? There’s not many people who probably go to work every day of the week and go, Yeah, this is fun. This is really fun. It’s like, we make video games, we’re making entertainment. It’s like, it’s the greatest thing that I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of in my working life. And I don’t think many people, when I speak to my mates who don’t work in the games industry, they’ve had different jobs doing different things. And they go, you’re incredibly lucky. And I’m like, yeah, no, I’m lucky. And so for being lucky, and being part of Games Day just allows me to offer something back and going, yeah, the industry’s been good to me. Let’s try and bring the industry together that can raise some funds and help people who are a little bit less fortunate at that time in their life and stuff and try and give people a bit of a better enjoyment and hopefully give them some exposure to video games in some shape or form and so forth. So I’d love to get keywords involved. I’m talking to Joe Binyan about the go-kart and I’m talking to him about the golf. I would love, and this is a prime, I’m gonna use this, I’m gonna use this platform now to sell. So this is a prime example, right, where I look at keywords and Electric Square come and do the go-karting, Studio Gobo do the go-karting, E3T do the go-karting, slash Coconut Lizard. Those studios are big studios. They all employ over 150 people, right? So they will go and do the go-karting, because there’s only four people in the team. So they have enough resources to get four people who are excited about go-karting year in, year out, and they will continue to do that. What I see from Keyword’s point of view in using them as a basis, or even someone like Virtuous or someone like that, is that Keyword’s have a lot of companies in the UK specifically, because that’s where it takes place, or if they want to fly you over to the go-karting, Greg, and then stick you on a plane, that’d be great. But they have companies who are probably in the region of maybe 20 to 30 people. And trying to find four people who want to do go-karting, or four people who want to play golf, X amount of people who want to go along to the comedy nights is more difficult because it’s a numbers game. You know what I mean? So, so what I think keywords can do and Bertram and John Hawken, Joe are going to be like, edit that out. I don’t know. I’m joking. I’m joking. They’re lovely people. I hope they listen. No, but they, they, they can, I think they could put teams in under the keywords banner and then go to those small companies. So they can go to like waste. They can go to itchy. They can go to Indigo pearl. Uh, they can go to player research and go to the trailer farm. They can go to the companies who are a little bit smaller with regards to numbers and go to them and say, we’ve got a couple of spaces. We’ve got a couple of teams. We need eight people who’s interested and hopefully you’ll get eight. Hopefully they get more and then they can do a selective process of doing it. And in that way that allows those people to go along to that networking event. We have 48 companies that come along to the go kind. Like it’s two semifinals of 24. So if Keywords had one in the South and one in the North, because Keywords offer every single service that you potentially need in the video games industry, there’s a great platform. They could take someone like Blondine along, could take Johnny Taylor along from the UK, like BizSaves sales team and stuff. They could go along and network and stuff. I know companies, and I won’t name who they are, but I know companies that have gone along to the go-karting as a developer, met a publisher, and they’re doing a game with that publisher now. And that’s based on the thing. And I said to them, you need, and they went, yeah, we need to make a donation to Games Aid because it wouldn’t have happened without Games Aid. And I went, yeah, look, you paid for your go-kart. But it’s a prime example that networking isn’t just about going to a hotel lobby on a big GDC, Dice, XDS, whatever the conference may be, Pocket Gamer. Networking can be in other elements. And sometimes in those more casual kind of relaxed environments, it can work. People are a little bit more kind of, yeah, look, we’ll have a conversation about it. So a little bit more open to and having conversations and stuff. So, yeah, I’d love to see companies like Keywords get involved. I’d love to see companies like Virtuous get involved. I’d love to see people, organisations that have biggest, like they’re a big organization that has multiple studios and going, Oh, well, we can’t get enough out of this studio want to go and it’s like, well, open this up to all your studios. Hopefully you’re if you’ve got eight studios, hopefully you’ll get one person meet studio, you have to go kind of teams, you’ll get branding and stuff like that. And so so yeah, that’s my bit on games.

Greg Posner: 58:17: 59:00: I love it. And I will push for it internally as well. But but going back to the original point, right? I love just the the giving back, the helping of charities. I think that, you know, we are in fortunate places and it’s very nice to be able to look and say, Hey, I want to help people out. And I think that’s the importance of this industry. I think it makes it stronger, no matter what industry it is, when you’re helping out people who want to be involved, right. It makes it a stronger thing. And I, I love that you do it and I love that you help. And I think you deserve all the credit in the world for putting these events together and the team that’s helping you with that. you know, accessibility gaming for all kids who are between 16 and 22. Right? It’s hard for them to find homes when they’re when they’re out there. And I think supporting him is the most noble thing that we can do as people. And I credit you for that.

Terry Haynes: 59:00: 01:02:37: No, it’s it’s incredible. It’s very humbling. It’s very Yeah, it just, it’s just brilliant. I love it. I love every single thing. Even when you’re busy at work and you’re traveling around the world and I do a lot of that and stuff like that, I always find time to get involved with the Games Aid stuff because it’s just so important. In my mind, it’s just so important and stuff. And if anyone is interested in helping Games Aid in any way or getting involved with any events we do, please go onto LinkedIn, look for Games Aid as an organization, get in touch with Gina Lorenzo or Lily Remington who are coordinators and they’re our full-time members of staff. They will be able to kind of direct you into stuff. We have a thing called, we call it Games Raid now. We used to call it Gang in a Van but it was kind of like that didn’t really kind of work. But we’re calling it Games Raid where what we do is once a year we hire a lorry and for the last few years it’s been me that’s been driving around London and the south of England And we go to publishers and we turn up there and it’s all coordinated with them beforehand. And we say, look, have you got any old games or old t-shirts or old swag or merchandise or anything that’s just sitting in your warehouse, sitting in your cupboards, gathering dust that you can donate to us. And we fill up this van with a load of stuff and we end up reselling that via eBay or we take it to the Develop Conference in the UK or EGX in the UK and we run a Tombola and and it generates money. The Tombola last year, EGX raised £23,000 over like three days. The one that developed raised about £7,000 or £8,000 over two days. So if anyone in the publishing side wants anything to develop, donate and stuff, please get in touch with the Games Aid team. If you’re interested in getting involved as an ambassador, helping, doing an event, doing a bake-off, doing anything that’s just fun. Just do something that’s fun. Do a 24-hour stream or whatever it may be. It’s like, please get in touch with Lily and Gina. Reach out to myself. I can always put you on to those people directly and stuff. And I always say the most important thing is become a member. Become a member of Games Day because the members make the difference. They’re the people who nominate the charities. And we’ve supported charities that I’ve never heard of. because they’ve been local charities in local towns or local cities. I’m based in London. I don’t hear about a local charity up in the northeast of England or northwest of England or in Birmingham in the Midlands and stuff. The people who work in those industries, they find those charities, they work with those charities and go, oh look, we could try and get you into Games Aid and so forth. And I think the biggest year we had was back in 2000. 2017, 2018, we raised just shy of a million pounds. So that was our biggest year and stuff. And it kind of dipped a little bit since then, but well, hopefully the pandemic really didn’t help because we do live events and in-person events and so forth. So we couldn’t do that for two years. And when you start doing things, when you stop doing things, people kind of forget about it. So we’ve taken a few years to try and get back to where we are, but we are organizing more events and stuff. So hopefully, We can continue to grow it. Hopefully we can continue to engage with the industry and hopefully we can continue to support maybe instead of five or six charities, we can support seven or eight charities.

Greg Posner: 01:02:38: 01:02:58: I love it. I think it’s fantastic. I will push internally for it because I do think I love the cause and I appreciate hearing about it. And Terry, we’ve had you here for an hour. You’ve talked about co-development, networking, charity, what’s coming up in gaming. I loved it all. I think we can keep going, but is there anything we didn’t talk about that you want to share before we go for the day?

Terry Haynes: 01:02:58: 01:04:48: No, not really. interested in reaching out. I mentor a few people in the games industry. If anyone’s interested in reaching out and having a conversation, please hook me up on LinkedIn. By all means, I will do my best to try and get back to you as quickly as I possibly can. Please don’t feel I’m ignoring you if it’s taken a few days. It’s just busy life and so forth. And if I’m not the right person, then I’ll try and introduce you to somebody who might be able to help you and offer some guidance. And I would say Just keep knocking. If you’re in business development or you’re setting up a little studio and you’re kind of, you’re wearing several hats because that’s what small studios do, just keep knocking on the door. Don’t pester people every single day and go, I didn’t even just, I’m going to pester you today. Give people time to come back to you. Give them a week, two weeks, whatever it is. I normally have a kind of 10 to 14 day window and stuff like that. You don’t want to be hounding people. Try and get along to as many events as you possibly can. I appreciate some are more expensive than others. If you can’t, or your company, or if you’re a startup and you’re bootstrapping stuff, then you can’t get along to the event and get past the event. Try and get into that city. Try and get into those hotel lobby bars and stuff like that. Try and do your networking that way. Try and get into that sort of realm and so forth. And yeah, you’ll be surprised. Reach out to people in the industry. You’ll sometimes be surprised how warm and welcoming people are because I know in years to come, I still want to be playing video games with my grandchildren if my if my two boys have children in their life. But the only way that’s going to happen is if we keep bringing people into the industry. And so we have to make ourself available to share that knowledge.

Greg Posner: 01:04:48: 01:04:50: You got to get those nimble fingers back to start beating them in.

Terry Haynes: 01:04:50: 01:04:55: Yeah, I don’t think so. I don’t think I think I think the I think the joints are starting to go great to be honest.

Greg Posner: 01:04:56: 01:05:13: Well, Terry, I really appreciate you coming out today. We will have all information for Terry Tanglewood as well as Games Aid directly on our Player Engage website. We’ll put it on social media as well. Again, this was a very educational session for me, Terry. I really enjoyed our conversation and thank you so much for coming out today.

Terry Haynes: 01:05:13: 01:05:15: Pleasure, Greg. Thanks very much for the invite.

Greg Posner: 01:05:15: 01:05:15: Cheers.

Greg Posner

Avid gamer with a passion for storytelling. My goal is to unpack the narratives of customers, partners and others to better understand how industry-leaders tackle today's challenges.

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