The Thirty Under 30 aims to recognise the brightest young talent working all sectors within the video game industry across Australia and New Zealand.
Here is the class of 2017!
A project manager with ESL Australia for the past four years, Brad has continually run the top esports activations in the country – working with Starcraft II, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, World of Warcraft and most recently, IEM Sydney and the Overwatch World Cup.
Quickly growing within ESL Australia, Brad took on greater and greater responsibility; overseeing the development of junior staff and pushing him self to tackle more challenging projects. Brad exemplifies the team culture from the top down, currently tracking at over 15 days of our Days In Lieu owing, working six days a week for almost one third of the year, with regular 14-16 hour days.
Returning this list for a second consecutive year, Claire continues to serve as one of New Zealand’s top Ambassadors for both Women In the industry and Games Development at large. In August year she moved from Pik Pok to Loveshack Entertainment where she serves as a Producer.
Outside of Loveshack Claire continues to tirelessly dedicate herself to the industry. She is a frequent speaker and volunteer, working closely with the New Zealand game development community.
Best known by her ‘Loserfruit’ brand, Kathleen has become the most popular, both by subscribers and views per month, female Twitch streamer in ANZ., In 2017 Kathleen ran multiple charity streams, raising over $44,000, her latest raised in excess of $10,000 for Save The Children.
Constantly looking to help the next generation of content creators, Kathleen has sat on multiple PAX Australia panels on how to successfully break into the market.
Chris is seemingly a veteran of the 30 Under Thirty, since joining EA at the age of 19 he has consistently climbed the ranks, taking on additional responsibility. In the past 12-months Chris has once again been promoted, this time to Marketing Manager for the EA SPORTS & Racing business across Asia and the Middle East.
Chris regularly dedicates his own time mentoring young people wishing to enter the gaming industry, as well as those looking to further their careers in the industry. It’s this dedication that sees him enter the list for a fourth time.
From a casual in the EB Community team, Jane risen to head both the EB Games loyalty program and community teams.
Jane has continued to grow the EB World program to over 5- million members. This year Jane and her team launched the EB World level 5 tier and expanded the social media footprint. Instagram is now over 100,000 users, Twitter is still number one in Australian retail and Facebook has gone from strength to strength with increased video content to have over 460,000 followers.
Jane is the driving force behind the Starlight Children’s foundation partnership. This year in just one-week EB Games raised $745,000 for Starlight.
An academic and game designer, Dr Marcus Carter boasts over 60 publications and 500 citations in the fields of Game Studies and Human-Computer Interaction, completing his PhD on Eve Online in 2014.
Prior to his current role, Marcus was a Research Fellow at the Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces at The University of Melbourne, where he led research into the use of voice and gestural interfaces in gaming, developing research in collaboration with Zoos Victoria – this resulted in a world-first digital gaming interface, using a Microsoft Kinect, for the Orangutans at Melbourne Zoo.
The President of the Australian Chapter of the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA), Marcus led the bid to bring the international DiGRA conference to Australia for the first time in 2017. He also chaired the organising committee for the conference which was attended by over 180 local and international delegates. A critical feature of the conference was heavily discounted tickets (85%) for non-cis male attendees and supporting content.
Known for going above and beyond, Emilia has continued to shine at Two Lives Left, acting as a producer and project manager on their game development tool, Codea for iPad, rolling out their biggest update to date, and is currently working on the next update to make the app universal and to bring it into Australian schools as a learning tool.
Outside of her day-to-day work with Two Live Left, Emilia is an outstanding ambassador for games development and the Women within it in South Australia. She has run the Adelaide Global Game Jam site for the past two years, runs a successful Women in Games SA annual event and worked side-by-side with the South Australian government to develop funding and grants programs for local developers. If this wasn’t enough Emilia is a mentor to various local and interstate developers as well as students, via The Smith Family. All of these amazing efforts saw her win the Trailblazer Award at the 2017 Women In Games Awards presented by Xbox.
Alice returns to the list for a third time, featuring in 2016 and 2014. Alice continues to be a strong advocate and ambassador for the games industry to a broader audience, covering both the industry and the issues it faces in the Herald Sun and Sunday Herald Sun.
A co-founder and curator for the PAX Australia Diversity Lounge, Alice is one of the industry’s strongest voices.
Games writer, lecturer and founder of Queerly Represent Me, Alayna continues to raise the bar, changing the face and lives of non-cis males within the industry.
Over the past twelve months Alayna released two independent games, Enthymema and Snapshot, presented a number of panels at PAX, continued teach at the University of the Sunshine Coast and continued to build Queerly Represent Me, expanding the site to include Podcast and interview series in August last year.
Alayna is incredibly passionate about ensuring games are a safe and joyful space for all who wish to participate in them as part of their work or leisure and has tried particularly hard to ensure new voices are being heard in the games industry through assisting with networking, developing skills, and granting access to events and speaking roles.
With his background in analytics Kevin has helped to re-define the importance of trends and market studies that the business utilises to inform its strategy implementation at SIE Australia.
Over the past 12-months Kevin has developed new reporting strategies that aim to bridge the gap between digital sourced reporting and physical sourced reporting, providing a meaningful overview of the growth seen within the digital market. A passionate advocate for the gaming industry, Kevin is changing the way the industry looks at digital.
A Digital Designer, Game Developer and Sessional Academic, Susannah has become a cornerstone of the West Australian Games Industry. From working with remote Indigenous communities to championing the use of video games in the classroom to policy makers, Susannah is passionately reducing the digital divide.
Recently, driven by personal experiences, Susannah has begun working on ‘Hannah’, a video game that focuses on teaching proactive skills to family and friends of Domestic Violence Victims. As well as increasing awareness of some of the little know aspects of Domestic Violence, the skills and knowledge taught by the game will carry over into real life and allow family and friends to provide practical and well-informed support to DV victims.
Widely considered to be one of the leading Community Managers in the industry, Kelsey has brought her skill set to Bethesda, excelling with the roll out of rich and individual content that resonates with each of the publisher’s communities. Deeply engaged with the Elder Scrolls and Quake communities, Kelsey has organised and executed a number of large scale social activations in the past year.
Outside of her roll with Bethesda, Kelsey has acted as a great ambassador for Women in publishing sector, speaking openly about her own experiences, and is now working as a part of The Working Lunch program, and will mentor younger Women in the industry.
Taking a one-person blog to a media outlet owned by one of the largest media companies in Australia is quite the achievement, and that’s exactly what Shannon did with Press Start. Shannon has always pushed the boundaries and looked to incorporate new strategies into the business, whether it was a robust social media presence, to the use of video. Their Pokemon GO video attracted over 30-million people, proving that the right content in the right space can have massive scale.
New Zealand’s Top female streamer, Lorien returns to the list for a second year. She has built a reputation as a strong representative for Women and is cultivating a wider understanding of Gaming and Geek culture while continuing to build a cohesive and supportive community.
In 2017 Lorien was a host for New Zealand’s NZGC LoL and COD tournaments, hosted the Xbox Globals E3 Live Stream, represented Women in Gaming for FTA TV and broke 85,000 followers.
At 29, James is another veteran of the 30 Under Thirty list – 2017 marks his fourth appearance on the list. In a storied career, James has successfully transitioned from a video games journalist to one of the industry’s most experienced PR and community managers, working both agency side and in house.
In the last 12 months he stepped up and led the gaming team at PPR, which included some of the businesses key clients before being poached by Wargaming for the opening of their Sydney office.
During that time, he formulated and led Alienware’s strategy for RTX, which saw the brand sponsor the main theatre and host a first of its kind ‘Streaming 101’ masterclass with key RT personality to show RTX attendees how to set up a Twitch channel using Alienware hardware. James has continued to recruit and mentor the next generation of the industry and is the yardstick in which communications is measured.
In 2017 Luke took the biggest step of his career, moving from C|NET across to Reed POP, assuming Guy ‘Yug” Blomberg’s role. He quickly established himself as a genuine and credible authority amongst the gaming communities, publishers, developers and more, and as someone who can not only continue the tradition of high quality content, but innovate with new ideas.
He steered the content and direction of PAX Aus 2017 to be the most successful iteration of the event in years, with a fresh take on content and new show elements. Luke worked tirelessly to reach out to all sectors of the industry to ensure they are represented properly within PAX – working with the GDAA, IGEA, and various associations and communities to give them the representation they deserve.
Originally hired in social media and marketing, Ella quickly showcased her talents in so many more parts of the Mighty Kingdom business. In less than 3-years she has shipped five games, which have been played by over 20-million people.
Named as one of the 30 Game Changers on last year’s Women In Games list, Ella goes above an beyond as a mentor and advocate of the industry, working with students and graduates and speaking at as many engagements as she can.
The owner of The Otherworld Agency and Boss Battle Records, Fabian is one of the countries premier audio talents. Through the Otherworld he represents over 40 composers and sound designers from across the globe, with music, sound design, voice acting, audio localization and music supervision/audio direction within dozens of titles, including the likes of Metal Gear Solid 5, Pac-Man 256 and Hacknet.
In the last year Fabian has launched Boss Battle Records to release and market video game soundtracks, a medium which has traditionally received lower support.
He has educated and mentor hundreds of indie developers and musicians about the nuances of the music industry, with a special focus on artist rights. Additionally, he continues to speak at multiple events.
From a pioneer of professional cosplay in Australia, to Project Lead at Robot House, to one of the most ambitious and influential Women in the industry, Ally McLean is one of the industry’s true super stars.
After starting in the newly revealed game development arm of Hammerfall Publishing managing communications for Warhammer 40,000: Regicide, Ally was quickly promoted to Producer and now Gamerunner.
A consistent speaker at major games events around the world, Ally has also worked with her focus charity SpecialEffect, who built custom consoles and controller for gamers with disabilities, and most recently, has launched the Women’s mentorship program, The Working Lunch. Inspirational and passionate, Ally truly is one of the industry’s best and brightest.
After starting her career at Ubisoft Blue Byte in Germany, Lucy has become one of the most influential members in the New Zealand games industry. She currently works as a Senior UI Designer for PikPok in Wellington, heads her own indie studio Starcolt, and has worked in many roles in the games industry, including two years at Auckland’s Media Design School as a lecturer in the BCT programme. She also currently co-directs NZ’s international games festival, Play by Play, with two others.
She founded the New Zealand chapter of the IGDA, the mental-health game jam Asylum Jam and co-founded Women in Games NZ. She was a member of the Global Game Jam Board in 2015 and assisted further with GGJ’s graphic design & branding. She has featured in all three of the Women Games List as well as the 2016 Develop 30 Under 30.
Best known as the founder and host of the You Game Bro? Podacst, Adam ‘Pez’ Perry dramatically shaped the way the medium was seen by the industry. Following the success of his own podcast, Adam sort to create the Australasian Gaming Podcast Network, which has now grown to include over 100 gaming podcasts. He has helped raise of $50,000 with his work across GenerOzity and the CheckPoint charity podcasts.
Adam worked as a brand ambassador for Intel and Lenovo, representing the brands with custom activations across PAX Australia, IEM 2017 and The Next Gamer online series.
He achieved all of this and a lot more all whilst working full time as an Electrician, I like most of you, can’t even begin to understand the extreme amount of behind the scenes work Adam has done for the industry. This dedication saw him join 2K late last year as Junior Social and Community Manager.
Over the past six years with Ubisoft, Florian has grown for a Marketing Assistant to Brand Manager where he shapes the way in which many of Ubisoft’s titles go to market. He returns for his fourth inclusion in the list.
Florian is well wealth of knowledge across the business from both trade and consumer marketing. He most recently designed and launched the ANZ eSports program for Rainbow Six, including, ANZ Cup, ANZ Invitational local LAN and the PAX Community Showcase ahead of the APAC Pro League.
Returning for a second year, Jonny is the voice for publishers and developers alike, working closely with government and agencies across Australia and New Zealand, creating, advocating and executing much of the policy discussion around the industry.
In addition to his work on intellectual property and reform projects for the Classification Department, Jonny took the fight for recognition of Australia’s development industry direct to Canberra. He participated in a number of inquiries and public hearings to push the government to introduce funding, tax breaks and other levels of support for the Australian video games development industry and pressured for a response from the government to the 2016 Senate inquiry. Additionally, he has written many lengthy (some 100+ page) submissions on behalf of the industry, including for the recent screen content review. Jonny’s passion for the law is only matched by his passion for games and the industry.
Starting out as a game designer in Germany six years ago, Jennifer has become one of the most influential faces in the local development community. In 2017 she moved on from AIE and Flat Earth Games to join the team at Opaque Space in Melbourne, as Jenifer has gone from strength to strength since her appointment as Game Design Lead with studio claiming multiple awards.
Outside of her design work, Jennifer is a passionate advocate for Women and Diverse parties in the industry. A vocal ambassador on social media, Jennifer has drawn international attention for our industry. She speaks frequently at events around the country and globe, runs workshops for up and coming female talent and was a mentor through the IGDA scholarship program at MIGW.
She has been recognised in the last two Women In Games Lists and this year Jennifer has taken over the global IGDA Women in Games Special Interest Group.
In Attack On Geek, Dhayana has created an open, inviting and engaging global community of gamers of all ages. She has separated herself as a premier influencer in New Zealand speaking at gaming events across the country and is currently working with Xbox, Logitech, GoTo.Game and HyperX.
Dhayana was the first female Microsoft GameMaster for the Xbox New Zealand channel and the first to stream on the Mighty Ape Xbox channel. She works with TenForward to educate children to play and stream games safely.
Dhayana is one of New Zealand’s forward thinkers, growing a ‘G-rated’ community of over 20,000 people, to ensure a positive, inclusive and supportive community of gamers in Attack On Geek.
Chris returns to the 30 Under Thirty for the second consecutive year, continuing to advocate for esports across Australia and New Zealand.
Outside of his work with Corsair, Chris is a founding board member of the EGAA and provides free advice and mentoring to multiple eSports teams in Australia, assisting them with contract negotiations, expansion advice, marketing ideas, sponsor acquisition and more. He also provide similar free services to PC Modders. Chris also provides consulting work for non-endemic companies looking to enter esports. He runs the esports Oceania Facebook community and produces the Business In Games Podcast.
Now in his tenth year in the industry, Daniel Smith achieved a life-long goal in moving to Blizzard in late 2017. He started with EB Games as a sales associate in 2008, joinng the Community Team in 2013. In his time with EB Games, he helped to develop two retail brands’ social media, seeing EB Games achieve the largest retail Twitter account in Australia. Daniel also developed the Just ‘Cos cosplay competition which is held annually at EB Expo.
Agus enters the list for the fist time, he is the founder and editor of the country’s premier esports outlets. He has grown the brand for a community site to the current model, with a focus on streaming and video.
He has acted as a constant ambassador for esports and is a constant behind the scenes. Together with his work at MWave, Agus is one of the industry’s brightest talents.
Starting as a Combat Designer for Ubisoft in Germany, Michael moved to New Zealand to teach game design. He is currently Lead Game Designer at Aurora44.
A passionate ambassador for the New Zealand industry and diversity within it, Michael became a board member for the NZGDA and currently sits as its Chairperson.
He actively volunteers at events across New Zealand and endevours to give back and build the country’s industry, speaking mentoring and advocating.
Jono also returns for a second year. In his five years with Reed POP, Jono has been marked as the team member that will ‘conceptualise and actualise’ the company’s executions. Jono manages the operational aspects of the show, including the relationships with the venue, contractors, builders, and government.
In 2017, Jono and his team arguably delivered the best PAX Australia to date with seamless executions across the program. Additionally, working with the Marketing/Community team, he created a PAX activation at Federation Square that included big screen gaming, outdoor activities, indie game exhibition space and more.”