FGS 2012 Advisory Board Interview Series
This is part five in a series of interviews of the Flash Gaming Summit 2012 Advisory Board. This is your chance to get to know the folks who determine the content of Flash Gaming Summit, getting their thoughts on both the conference and the games industry in general. This week’s Advisory Board interview features Chris Benjaminsen, co-founder of PlayerScale.
For more information on Flash Gaming Summit, including passes, speaking, or award show information please visit the conference website.
Introduce yourself- who are you, how big is your team, and how do you participate in the Flash games industry?
Hi, I’m Chris Benjaminsen, one of the founders of PlayerScale, a company providing hosted Services and API’s for large publishers and game studios. We also allow indie developers to use our tools via Player.IO.
What did you do before?
Before founding PlayerScale I helped found the flash games community Nonoba.
How did you first get into the Flash games industry? Tell us about your path.
Before PlayerScale and Nonoba we ran a production agency called BeIT for several years. BeIT focused on producing realtime multiplayer and social games for clients.
What drove you to create Player.IO, and now PlayScale?
PlayerScale and the Player.IO tools is build on a love for making games. The services and API’s we now offer all started out as our internal tools used to build our own games. Today we choose what new services and features to create based purely on popular demand by our developers. Our started goals is to empower developers.
What has been your single biggest challenge in the Flash games industry? How does it compare to the types of challenges you face today?
The single biggest challenge we have had to overcome was simply making money from flash games. Historically almost all of the revenue in the Flash games industry has been in the hands of the portals, making it almost impossible for developers to do more than minor hobby projects.
What has been your proudest moment since joining the Flash gaming community?
My proudest moment where seeing the success of Kyle Champ’s game Shell Shock Live. Kyle where the first of many indie developers that are now making a living purely from their Player.IO powered games.
What is it that you love the MOST about the Flash games industry?
The amount of creativity. I am blown away by the amount of new cool ideas and games created by the developers. It’s no surprise to me that many of the old flash games can now be played on Mobiles, Consoles etc.
What do you like the least?
Seeing developers have to give up their dream of making games. Typically because they where unable to make a living doing so.
How has the industry changed since you fist joined?
When we first started out there where hardly an industry, anybody who could make a reasonably good game would be guaranteed an almost endless amount of traffic. Today the shear volume of new content makes it very hard for developers to create a hit title.
How do you think Flash game developers are “Maximizing their games” today? What could they be doing better / differently?
We are finally seeing developers taking control of their games. Developers today are much more aware of the value of what they create.
Where do you see the Flash games industry going? What’s in store for the future?
I see the industry growing beyond flash and flash portals. HTML5, Mobile & Facebook has forever changed the market for the better.
What part of Flash Gaming Summit do you most enjoy or look forward to?
Meeting developers, studios and portals. Always great fun.
In your opinion, why should people come out to FGS 2012? What should they expect?
Come to FGS to meet more creative game developers than you could anywhere else.
Thanks Chris, see you at FGS 2012!