In his session at Casual Connect Europe 2015, Fabian Ahmadi explored the opportunities for app developers in the hardcore PC market. Fabian explained, “It’s a very fast growing market and it’s the early days for the apps in the hardcore gaming space. It would be very cool if I could raise some awareness that this market exists. It’s definitely only going to get bigger from where we are today”.
Fabian Ahmadi admits he became involved in the games industry more by accident than by design. In fact, his dream job as a child was to be a diplomat. Since his grandfather was an ambassador, he envisioned himself wearing that same uniform, particularly the sword! When he was a bit older, he became interested in finance, and if he were not involved in the games industry, he would choose to be an economist or attorney.
Ahmadi’s involvement in the games industry began when he responded to an advertisement for a European Business Manager for Big Fish Games. He put together a business plan to launch BFG in Europe which so impressed the company that they hired him in addition to the manager who had already been hired by the time he was interviewed. He has now been in the industry over ten years, and names many professionals who have influenced his career, including: Paul Thelen, Greg Enell, Susan Choe, Sean Kauppinen, Frank Sliwika, Corey Rosemund and Lisa Bell.
Journey to Overwolf
In 2011 he met Uri Marchand, Co-Founder and CEO of Overwolf. He was tremendously excited about the company. Together, he and Uri decided they wanted to work together in some way, so a few months later he joined the company as advisor. By 2013 he had become part of the management team as Vice-President of Business Development, revealing that this has been a dream come true. He particularly enjoys the fast-paced environment and the impressive team he works with and is particularly inspired by the creativity and genius he sees in game developers.
Every day with Overwolf brings challenges, otherwise, Fabian claims, he would not be in this industry. However, he finds his greatest challenges come with the time zones. The management team is based in Tel Aviv while he works from Seattle.
Fabian offers this advice to anyone interested in pursuing a career in this industry: Find a mentor! This may not be easy to do, but it is crucial to success. He notes that many in the games industry are willing to assist newcomers, probably more so than in other industries. He also points out that this is a small industry so it is particularly important to be kind, honest, and loyal and to keep your promises. Your reputation will precede you. After working in the industry you will know many people and conferences will seem like a family reunion.
Evolution of the Industry
New technologies will undoubtedly affect the rapidly evolving games industry. Ahmandi points out that casual games have had a huge impact on the industry as a result of social media and mobile technology. For the future, he feels VR, like Oculus Rift, is an area to watch closely. He also believes user generated content, whether as apps, mods or part of the game play, will become increasingly common for players to shape the game content.
He considers streaming technology an important area of future focus. But this may mean a decrease in the importance of the console market as streaming technology becomes more prevalent.
When not involved with his work, Fabian’s main focus is on his family. He also enjoys snowboarding and skiing and shares his wife’s interest in art and music. Additionally, they are co-owners of a jazz bar in Seattle, Lucid.
Fabian is also an avid gamer, and challenges anyone to beat him at World of Tanks. His nickname is Fabahmadi 123 if you want to give it a try.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.