What is your role at Hero Machine and on Kinetik?
I provide support and direction on the publishing efforts for Kinetik - which is basically the stuff that's not creative or technical, such as business models, PR and marketing, partnerships and things like that. I also was the primary funder of the company, helping to get the game to a playable state before Kickstarter. This is really important, because we want to demonstrate to everybody that this project is not vaporware, and we want to prove to ourselves that our ideas for the game are workable.
What is your background?
I've been in the games industry for 25 years. I started in an entry-level position at Sega of Japan in 1990 - when the 8-bit Master System was still bigger than the Genesis/Mega Drive. I did everything from taking screenshots and burning ROMs to writing internal game reviews and translating strategy guides from Japanese to English. Eventually I started working on larger projects like Sonic the Hedgehog and Disney titles. I later went on to head marketing at Namco-Bandai in the US, returned to Sega of America to do the same there, and then joined Microsoft, where I led the marketing team for projects like Halo and Gears of War. Since then I've also worked at Amazon, Square Enix and Epic Games.
What attracted you to this project?
The first thing that caught my attention was the passion that Mat and Kevin had for Kinetik. They have a very strong conviction that shooters have drifted from the core principles of skill, strategy and teamwork that made them great. They want to make a game that combines the power of modern gaming hardware with the power of Unreal Engine to deliver classic shooter game play with high-end performance. Next was their talent - Mat and Kevin have an amazing track record of high quality work. Finally, I believe now is a time of revolution in gaming. The combination of the power of the UE4 engine, crowdfunding through Kickstarter, and distribution through services like Steam will unleash a tidal wave of innovation in games. As a publisher, I had to turn down some awesome game proposals because I know that mass-market retails stores wouldn't stock them. I'm so glad those days are over!