How has the industry changed with Jay Wilson?

by Brandon Pham
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“A lot of the times will attribute with Blizzard as being in a ‘privileged’ position. But no, anyone can do it. And it isn’t as privileged as people may think. The truth is, when you keep a chunk of your team and keeping them like a live service, the more your game will be supported and the more your game will sell. – Jay Wilson

Jay Wilson has been in the industry for decades and have lent his talents working at EA, Relic, and Blizzard. He is best known for being the game director on Diablo 3. He has since took a break from the industry for 4 years to publish his first novel, Deadman Detective (https://amzn.to/3iOEX1h). In this episode, I had the pleasure of talking to Jay about his unique perspective about the industry being away from it and overall his thoughts on what’s going on lately.

Topics discussed in this episode:
0:00 Introduction to the going fully remote
2:06 What was dev life was like before the pandemic and it’s difficulty now
6:16 The extra challenge for parents and why companies may not be all in
10:09 Can online communication replace physical interactions between teams
13:20 The adverse affect of always meeting online
15:16 Work from home morale boost and manager’s responsibilites
19:38 Are there any underlying biases against hiring parents
23:20 Key differences having a physical location separation with work and home
24:53 Before the pandemic, game companies were resistant with remote working
28:57 Appfigures Ad
30:30 Global talent a threat?
38:24 Timezone syncs with teams spread out globally
43:58 Do remote employees have more leverage by switching jobs quicker without relocation?
49:29 The 9-5 model demolished forever?
54:51 Does remote working elimate crunch culture?
58:05 The void for social connection with colleagues

SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE

Pick up Jay’s first novel. Available on Amazon.

Truman Crowe has been able to see and speak with the dead his entire life. For him the supernatural is a daily occurrence, sometimes inconvenient, often annoying, but rarely frightening.

When the girl of his dreams is killed, he promises to help her ghost find peace before her desire for revenge consumes her. He seeks help from his best living friend, Echo, a tech-savvy spirit hunter, and his best dead friend Jory, an eccentric ghost with a love for true crime. Together they face spirits dangerous and benign while hunting a sinister serial killer, who may actually be hunting them.

This book series follows the lives of Truman Crowe, a wanna be detective who uses his ability to speak with the dead to solve cases, and Echo, a tech savvy girl obsessed with the paranormal. In each book they will encounter and learn to deal with different types of spirits inspired by myths and legends from cultures around the world: from raged-filled poltergeists, to grief-hungry spectres, death-obsessed shades, protective guardians, and endless crowds of the forgotten.


This episode is brought to you by AppFigures!

Appfigures is all about giving game makers the tools they need to get more downloads and revenue. You may already know them for Analytics and App Store Optimization. Now, Appfigures can help you track competitors, from how many downloads they’re getting and how much money they’re making, to their audience demographics, and even which SDKs they use. Their competitor intelligence gives you great context. Say a competitor adds a new feature or was mentioned in the news; with Appfigures you can see if that brought in more downloads. Got a great idea for an app or a game? With Appfigures, you can figure out how big the market is and how much money you could be making with it. And that’s just scratching the surface. Whether you’re growing your app or building a new one, Appfigures has the tools you need to reduce risk and get more downloads. You don’t need a large budget or a data science degree to do this kind of thing anymore. Appfigures has made it affordable and simple! On top of tools, Appfigures also provides a lot of guides and tutorials to take you step-by-step through gaining more visibility with ASO and increasing your revenue by learning from your competitors. They just released a free guide on that, actually.

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