The MCV Pacific 30 Under Thirty returns for a fourth year.
This year’s list celebrates the achievements of the next generation of talent from across all facets of the industry.
Here is the class of 2015.
Liz returns to the 30 Under Thirty list after debuting in last year honours. In the past twelve months she featured in the inaugural Women In Games list. Better known as ‘Fooliz’, Liz is the voice of Maxis, BioWare and PopCap at Electronic Arts and has excelled in managing relationships with external partners, including print publishers, media, community, PR & Media agencies, Australian Classification Board and influencers. In 2014, she was awarded EA Australia’s internal Think Players First award.
Another member of the 2015 Women In Games list, Kim Allom is an associate producer at Brisbane’s Defiant Development, working on the hugely successful and storied Hand Of Fate. Kim showcased the title, which was the first Australian developed game to appear on both next generation platforms, at the Sony PlayStation Experience in 2014. Kim was also given an honourable mention in Develop’s current 30 Under Thirty.
This mark’s Chris’s third appearance on the 30 Under Thirty list, and at only 23, the Electronic Arts Brand Engagement Manager may have many more ahead of him. Chris was promoted in 2015 from Community Manager to Brand Engagement Manager. His crowning achievement in 2015 was sitting on the FOX Sports commentary team for the live nationally televised FOX Fans League final.
Jane returns to the 30 Under Thirty list for a second straight year, acting as a key team member in the EB Games leviathan, continuing to address an engaged community in excess of 450,000. Jane was also recognized for her tireless work with the retailer in the 2015 Women In Games List. Since last year’s inclusion Jane is also in charge of Zing Pop Culture Community communications and runs a team of eight people.
Damien has been working for the Australian Cyber League (now operating as ESL Australia) since 2010, and has grown into a strong manager of eSports programs for our publishing partners. 2015 was a gruelling yet rewarding year for the team, with Damien acting as the Project Manager for COD Championships ANZ as well as broadcast for the same event. Damien has also worked closely with Riot Games’ Broadcast Producer Ben DeRidder to direct a TV crew for the OPL Final at Luna Park in Sydney and also the International Wildcard All-Stars at Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne. Damien now manages the Call of Duty World League program for ANZ.
A mainstay of this list, Josh is inducted into the MCV Pacific 30 Under Thirty for the fourth, and final time. Following on from his work in previous year’s with and at IGEA, Josh has excelled since moving to Electronic Arts in July last year. Josh is the only industry member to be recognised in all four 30 Under Thirty List’s to date.
Lauren is one of the Australian games industry’s most exciting new faces. With co-director Katie Gall, they founded Lumi Consulting in 2013, a specialist Marketing and PR agency consultancy for games and technology, which has gone from strength to strength since. Lauren is a vocal and passionate advocate of diversity in games, and works with a number of organisations to better the Australian industry as whole. In 2015, as well as her achievements with Lumi Consulting, Lauren was a Digital Media Assessment Panel Member for Film Victoria, a committee member of WiDGET (Women in Development, Games and Everything Tech) and for the Australian STEM Video Game Challenge, and was just elected as a committee member to the Game Developers’ Association of Australia in 2016 – all this on top of creating her own game, Maid with Love, for release in 2006.
Emmelita enters the 30 Under Thirty list for a second year, continuing her great success as the games partner lead in the IGN Sales team. Working with all of IGN’s gaming clients, Emmelita coordinated integrated campaigns for all of the major games releases last year and helped keep IGN as a leading choice for games publishers to reach their fans.
Susannah is a Sessional Academic and teaches in the Digital Design program at Curtin University. She lived in remote Indigenous communities for several years where she taught/facilitated both primary and adult education. Her research interests are around video games for social good, collaborative approaches to video game development across cultural/social divides, and the potential of video games to share knowledges and bridge epistemic gaps. 2015 saw her finalising and disseminating her honours (first class) research, which examined the process of instigating iterative cross-cultural collaborative game development between developers and remote Indigenous communities in the Northern territory. She was also recognised as a finalist in the South Australian Winnovation Awards, which celebrate women in innovation and technology.
Liam is a man well known in the Australian games scene, working tirelessly to connect developers, and support greater representation and diversity in games. Liam started working with Player Attack in 2012 on news coverage, and went on to work with Beamdog on their Enhanced Edition games as variously a Lead Scripter, Writer and Associate Producer. He was selected to complete a design fellowship with Obsidian Entertainment in 2014, and on his return joined Surprise Attack as Production Coordinator up until mid 2015. He then became the Event Manager for the Game Developers’ Association of Australia, where he worked with CEO Antony Reed to manage and structure Game Connect Asia Pacific (GCAP). He has spearheaded the new ‘Representation’ category for the Australian Game Developer Awards, organised the inaugural GCAP Student Showcase, and coordinated sponsorship for the event. Most recently Liam has become the Co-Director of GX Australia, Australia’s first queer gaming expo.
Katie Gall is one of Australia’s up-and-coming games entrepreneurs. Having co-founded Lumi Consulting, she has exploded onto the Australian scene over the last few years with talent, verve and the most generous of spirits, and has quickly become one of the most well-connected people within the Australian industry. This year with Lumi Consulting, Katie has worked with companies such as Hipster Whale, Minimega, MidBoss, Deakin Motion.Lab, Studio Bento, GX Australia and many more, and additionally Lumi Consulting were the Event Managers for Unite Australia 2015. Additionally, Katie co-created Udemy’s only course on games marketing.
Emma returns to the 30 Under Thirty List again, having finished her first year in the industry as Account Executive at Double Jump Communications. She has proven to be an integral member of the agency team, executing local activity for Elgato, Razer, Team17, Nexon, Hi-Rez and Plantronics. Emma, using her prior knowledge in YouTube / Twitch content creation, has put a large focus on linking Double Jump’s clients to other relevant gaming content creators in the region. Emma has also continued her content endeavours, being cast as a host in Disney XD’s 2016 TV show GameFest as well as continuing content production on her 10,000+ subscribed YouTube channel titled ‘EmmaExegames’.
Following on from a busy year of panels and talks, in 2015 Izzy founded Geeiz Games and shifted into overdrive developing Intergalactic Space Princess alongside Laura Stokes. Through this comedic, episodic adventure game she was accepted into the first Stugan – a game developer accelerator program that runs for two month out at a log cabin, in the Sweden woods. Izzy has exhibited the game at the Freeplay Parallels Showcase 2015, and PAX Australia. In between working away on her game, Izzy also found time to support the Girls Make Games workshop earlier in 2015, and be part of the “Do I Need a Degree?” panel at PAX Aus.
Shannon’s continued work with Press Start Australia has seen him return for a second straight year to our list. Press Start’s success can partly be attributed to their social engagement, a subject close to Shannon’s heart. His tireless work with this, saw the Press Start Australia Twitter account verified recently, the first Australian Gaming Coverage account to do so.
2015 was a hugely successful year for James, starting off the year by expanding the team with new hire Emma Graham, and hosting the hugely successful Australian-first SMITE World Championship viewing party in Sydney. From there he helped take Surprise Attack’s indie games internationally by conducting the company’s first every global media tour in San Francisco, forging key relationships with international media. This is James’ third straight year to be included in the 30 Under Thirty.
The 29-year old independent developer had a hugely successful 2015, releasing Armello, a digital role-playing strategy board game, and become chair of Freeplay, the country’s longest running independent games festival. Kusters’ work was recognised internationally, featuring on Forbes 2016 30 Under 30 – Games.
Elisha has continued her highly acclaimed work within the retail giant, and returns for a second straight year. The now Senior Marketing Manager was recognised in the 2015 MCV Pacific Women In Games List, and continues to spearhead the Starlight Children’s Foundation Partnership, which has raised over $2-million in the past four years.
Jess has grown over the past four years to become the face of GameSpot, and one of the most recognisable faces in gaming. She has carved a career for herself, earning high praise from peers for her daily written and video content for the site.
Lewis is the heart and soul of Twitch.tv in Australia. Every day he can be seen fixing, improving and fighting to make sure that the Twitch community of viewers and streamers have the best possible experience on the platform. Lewis’ extensive experience with the platform (being a streamer himself), has helped him to build and develop products while mentoring younger streamers.
A member of the 2015 MCV Pacific Women In Games List, Lucy was recently inducted into the 2016 Develop 30 Under Thirty, having received an honourable mention just twelve months earlier. The Auckland based lecturer continues to teach 2D Art, Game Design and Ethic in Games at Media Design School. Lucy is also the co-founder of the NZ IDGA chapter, set up Women In Games New Zealand and founded Asylum Jam.
Since her inclusion in the 2014 30 Under Thirty Jayde has been promoted to Account Manager at CBS Interactive and was featured in our first ever Women In Games List. Jayde’s tireless work over the past twelve months has earnt the unrelenting praises of her peers, going from strength-to-strength.
After supporting the wider Ubisoft marketing team in the role of Marketing Assistant for two years, Florian progressed to the Trade Marketing Executive role in 2014 and successfully drove instore and event executions for brands including Assassin’s Creed, Watch Dogs, Far Cry, Just Dance and more. During his tenure in trade, Florian developed innovative and creative multi-channel campaigns with a strong focus on both the consumer experience as well as a clear eye on the business’s objectives. In 2015, whilst still managing major event executions including EB Expo and PAX, Florian also moved into a Brand Manager position, and took on the role as marketing lead for Just Dance 2016, organising the promotion and execution of the Just Dance World Cup – with the Australian finale held at EB Expo and the finals held in Paris in October.
Gaetano joined MMGN in 2006 when it was known as My Media. In the past ten year’s he has grown the site to what it is today. In 2007 he became the site’s first full time editor, before working as lead writer for NineMSN’s GamesFIX for 12 months in 2013. Gaetano shifted his focus back on to MMGN, and in the time since has helped expand the website’s reach and social media presence. The brand now boasts over 30,000 Facebook followers.
NichBoy as he is sometimes better known, is the host of Good Game: Pocket, a daily, digitally delivered ‘pocket sized’ edition of the hugely successful gaming program. Nich took over from Michael “Hingers” Hing in 2015 and has excelled within the role, earning praise from across the industry.
Kirsty began her association with the Games industry in 2008 as a Games and Interactivity graduate of Swinburne University of Technology, following which she completed her Honours with a thesis on cosplay culture, and was employed as a tutor of gaming and communication. After working on the Channel 31 community TV show, Level3, Kirsty took on the role of PR Manager for accessories distributor BlueMouth Interactive, before accepting her “dream job” as Media Representative for Nintendo Australia later in the year. Since joining the first party, Kirsty has become widely regarded across the industry and is one to watch.
Emma’s career in games has thus far been short but eventful. She has had a meteoric rise with a “baptism-by-fire” introduction in indie (Wander), freelancing consultant, and then to industry heavyweight, the AAA developer and publisher Firemonkeys , all within a single year. Coming from a completely different background, she has proven herself resilient and resourceful through tribulations as written in her published retrospective and PAX Australia panel about her time on Wander. In a rags to riches transition, Emma now handles communities of several million players. Emma has been highly involved in the greater game development community and has continues to give back to the community with her involvement with events run by various professional groups, and women in games and technology.
Since joining Ubisoft as a Marketing Assistant Ben has progressed rapidly to now be an essential member of the Marketing team and responsible for major brands such as Tom Clancy’s The Division and Rainbow Six Siege. In the past year he has juggled the increased responsibilities of two of Ubisoft’s biggest releases as Brand Manager on both Rainbow Six Siege and The Division. With his eye on the future he has treated both as long term projects that go way past day one and see games in a very different light to the products they were just a few years ago. With his ambition and forward thinking Ben is one of the brightest lights at Ubisoft right now and has a big future ahead of him with many more exciting projects to come.
Arguably the biggest name in Australian Game Development right now, Andy is half of the Hipster Whale team, the developers of the monster hit, Crossy Road. Andy has taken his success and given back to the industry, helping to fund the new mobile studio Prettygreat. Andy has earnt international recognition, featuring in both the 2016 Develop 30 Under Thirty and the Forbes 2016 30 Under 30 – Games.
Hugh is co-founder and Art Director at Prettygreat, a new mobile studio in Brisbane also founded by Phil Larsen and Luke Muscat, and backed by Crossy Road creators Matt Hall and Andy Sum. Hugh was previously Art Director at Halfbrick, and has a career spanning over eight years in professional games development. Hugh single-handedly made every piece of visual content PrettyGreat has produced including all the art for the studio’s debut game Land Sliders, which has an endless 3D world, over 80 characters and 1000+ 3D models. Land Sliders has since achieved over 2 million downloads, won Game of the Year at the Australian game Developer Awards and was selected as Apple’s Editor’s Choice and Best of 2015.
After working in the health sector for a number of years, in 2013 Jess went back to university to study game design. Since then she has become an integral part of Let’s Make Games, the non-profit community group supporting West Australian developers. Jess manages the group’s online presence, sharing news on locally made games, and has collated the WA Released Games list. In 2014 Jess assisted in setting up the Perth Games Festival, a free community event celebrating indie games, and in 2015 took on the role of Festival Coordinator. In addition to managing exhibitors, sponsors, and social media, she arranged for special features for developers and volunteers, and ensured the inclusion of Auslan Interpreters. During this time Jess has also been developing games, working as the Level Designer on Star Hammer: The Vanguard Prophecy, as well as an upcoming game for mobile.