Gamers at Work- Stories Behind the Games People Play

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Book Description Publication Date: February 8, 2012 | ISBN-10: 1430233516 | ISBN-13: 978-1430233510 | Edition: 1 "Gamers at Work is a critical resource for new and experienced business...
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Book Description

Publication Date: February 8, 2012 | ISBN-10: 1430233516 | ISBN-13: 978-1430233510 | Edition: 1
"Gamers at Work is a critical resource for new and experienced business leaders—for anyone who feels unprepared for the demanding and seemingly insurmountable trials ahead of them." —Peter Molyneux OBE, founder, Lionhead Studios

"Gamers at Work explores every imaginable subtlety of the video-game industry through the fascinating stories of those who took the risks and reaped the rewards." —Hal Halpin, president, Entertainment Consumers Association

"I couldn't have dreamed of ever getting the amount of advice that is contained within this book." —Josh Fairhurst, cofounder, Mighty Rabbit Studios

"An often historical and surprisingly personal look into how some of gaming's largest companies started, Gamers at Work is an inspiring look at how to start, leave, and rebuild companies." —VentureBeat

"This is the sort of book that can tear the most hardcore gamers away from their PCs, Macs, or consoles for a few hours of rewarding reading." —North County Times

About the Book:

There are few companies in the video-game industry that have withstood the test of time; most startups exit as quickly as they enter. In Gamers at Work: Stories Behind the Games People Play, the countless challenges of building successful video-game developers and publishers in this unstable industry are explored through interviews containing entertaining stories, humorous anecdotes, and lessons learned the hard way.

Gamers at Work presents an inside look at how 18 industry leaders play the odds, seize opportunities, and transform small businesses into great businesses. Here, in Gamers at Work, you will find their stories replete with their personal struggles, corporate intrigue, and insights into strategy, leadership, and management.

Gamers at Work:
  • Explores the formation of entertainment software companies from the perspectives of successful founders who played the odds
  • Provides insight into why experienced professionals sacrifice the comfort of gainful employment for the uncertainty and risk of the startup
  • Shares the experiences and lessons that shape the lives, decisions, and struggles of entrepreneurs in this volatile business
Featured Entrepreneurs:
  • Trip Hawkins, Electronic Arts (Madden NFL)
  • Nolan Bushnell, Atari (Pong)
  • Wild Bill Stealey, MicroProse Software (Sid Meier's Civilization)
  • Tony Goodman, Ensemble Studios (Age of Empires)
  • Feargus Urquhart, Obsidian Entertainment (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II)
  • Tim Cain, Troika Games (Arcanum, Vampire: The Masquerade--Bloodlines)
  • Warren Spector, Junction Point Studios (Disney Epic Mickey)
  • Doug and Gary Carlston, Broderbund Software (Prince of Persia, Carmen Sandiego)
  • Don Daglow, Stormfront Studios (Neverwinter Nights, Tony La Russa Baseball)
  • John Smedley, Verant Interactive (EverQuest, PlanetSide)
  • Ken Williams, Sierra On-Line (King's Quest, Leisure Suit Larry)
  • Lorne Lanning, Oddworld Inhabitants (Oddworld)
  • Chris Ulm, Appy Entertainment (FaceFighter, Trucks & Skulls)
  • Tobi Saulnier, 1st Playable (Kung Zhu, Yogi Bear)
  • Christopher Weaver, Bethesda Softworks (The Elder Scrolls)
  • Jason Rubin, Naughty Dog (Crash Bandicoot, Jak and Daxter)
  • Ted Price, Insomniac Games (Spyro, Ratchet & Clank)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Morgan Ramsay has interviewed nearly 40 influential CEOs, including Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, King cofounder Riccardo Zacconi, and Supercell cofounder Ilkka Paananen. He is the bestselling author of Gamers at Work: Stories Behind the Games People Play and Online Gamers at Work. Mr. Ramsay is currently developing 60 more longform interviews with creative leaders, technical wizards, and Hollywood celebrities across three books about the art and science of entertainment. For more information, follow him on Twitter (@MorganRamsay) or visit his website at

Product Details

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book all around March 21, 2012
By Josh
I ordered this book completely out of the blue with absolutely no real idea of what to expect. It turned out that this book was one of the most relevant books I could have ever purchased. In August of 2010, I founded Mighty Rabbit Studios, a small independent game studio in Raleigh, NC. I've spoken with several industry vets about starting the company, but I couldn't have dreamed of ever getting the amount of advice that is contained within this book. This book was designed specifically to help aspiring entrepreneurs in the video game industry, and it excels at that. If you have the desire to open your own game studio, this is a book you must read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating behind the scenes look June 16, 2012
Morgan Ramsay provides an insightful and fascinating glimpse into the way the games so many of us love are actually developed. Most people never think beyond "Oh yeah, some geeks just got together and used their nerd magic to make Gears of Duty 4: San Andreas, and bro this is awesome." But the games industry is a mature, developed field with careful thought and inspiration behind what makes hit games. Morgan's connections allowed him access to some of the most important names in the industry, with collective centuries of game design experience among them. It's well worth a read for anyone planning a career in the games industry, or for those who simply want to know a little more about the people who populate it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but business-oriented February 28, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Word of advice: this book focuses more on the business side of things rather than the development side of things (think "Founders at work", not "Coders at work"). And I have to say I expected more from the author; some questions are hit-and-miss, failing to follow up on very interesting topics or just making the conversation confusing. Or maybe I'm just biased the author is a self-described "serial entrepreneur" rather that a developer. Still, this is mandatory read for anyone who's interested in game development, if anything to show how difficult things can be from a management perspective and for some candid, very interesting personal stories.


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