During Casual Connect Europe, Jeremy Strauser discussed the community of social and real money casino gaming, saying, “This is an incredibly intersected community between social and real money casino. You have real money operators, you have online casinos, you have offline casinos, you have slots manufactures, you have everybody working with everybody in the space.”
Jeremy Strauser, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at Bee Cave Games, began his career as a tester at Electronic Arts. He came to their attention after sending the producer of Madden pages of notes and bugs. He ended up spending fifteen years with Electronic Arts and claims games saved him from his planned career as a lawyer. He considers the best part of his involvement in the games industry is “seeing people enjoy and be entertained by a game you made. That never gets old.”
Strauser is new to the Austin area, so each weekend finds him exploring the area. He admits to being a long-time sports fan; he and his family spend a lot of time watching football. And, he says, “Like everyone else in the world, I’m playing Candy Crush Saga. It is impeccably tuned to be challenging and keeps things fresh at every new level.”
Making a Switch
He has always preferred the simplicity and power of the iPhone, but after beginning cross-platform development, he discovered that he enjoyed Android, and recently switched to his first Android phone. He is still discovering the nuanced customization of Android and enjoys the larger screen of the Nexus 5. This switch was easier for him because iOS 7 borrows heavily from Android.
Strauser’s preferred platforms for game playing are Facebook, iOS, and Android. But he and his sons still enjoy Xbox 360 and PS3; they are still playing a lot of NBA 2K14 and Batman Arkham Origins, so he sees no need to invest in Xbox One or PS4 yet.
Creating Something New
In his work as COO at Bee Cave Games, Strauser is focused mainly on game design and player acquisition. Because they are still a small company, with only sixteen members, he has other responsibilities as well, including finance, HR, and operations. His previous work at Electronic Arts concentrated on design and business, and at Zynga, he was involved with social and mobile casino games; these factors meshed perfectly in when he created Bee Cave Games.
He emphasizes that although his long career has included many great experiences, the best have come when he left the corporate world with a small group of friends to start something of their own. He feels, “The ability to define something new every day is my greatest proud moment.”
The most important trend Strauser sees coming in the games industry is game ubiquity across platforms. People are beginning to expect the same experiences on every screen and every device they use each day. Bee Cave Games anticipate this trend by making cross-platform connectivity a key focus. He claims, “We are architecting the game in a way that is platform agnostic while using Facebook as our rapid development sandbox.”
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.