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Europe 2014Video Coverage

Corey Rosemond: Bringing Value to Gamers

February 27, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton

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At Casual Connect Europe, Corey Rosemond announced that Plantronics Gaming believes in the power of voice-enabled gaming and they are available to support studios like Reactive Studios and their game Codename Cygnus. He says, “If you’re thinking about utilizing the power of voice or multiplayer communications, come work with us.”

Corey is the Business Development Director at Plantronics Gaming, where he is the liaison between the company and the gaming industry. Corey seeks out opportunities and partnerships that will be mutually beneficial to the company and partners.

An Unexpected Result

His tenure at Plantronics began with a conversation at GDC 2012, where he was asked by leadership how he believed he could add value to their growing gaming business. His response, industry knowledge, and experience led to an opportunity to join the company.

Corey’s gaming career began with an internship at Microsoft Corporation to get ID’s Doom to run on Windows 95. Among his many responsibilities, he found himself most interested in bringing value to gamers worldwide through business development. He continues to enjoy seeing the reactions of gamers who are passionate about a game, saying, “Gaming is where technology and entertainment collide, and the resulting value to gamers is immeasurable.” It is this appreciation of the gamers’ experience that continues to motivate him.

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Gaming is where technology and entertainment best interact, and the resulting value to gamers is magical. The RIG, a combination of the enhanced functionalty of a dual-use headset with a mixer at a reasonable price, is once such technology.

Changing Perceptions

The most exciting time in Rosemond’s career came when he was a part of the team tasked with turning around the perception of Windows as a gaming platform. He admits that being responsible for the Windows 7 launch strategy for gaming was a challenge, however, he was able to work with the right partners to validate that Windows 7 was in fact great for gaming. He says, “We significantly exceeded our goals to get people to upgrade from Windows XP and Windows Vista”.

He clearly values all that he has accomplished in his career, emphasizing that he always tries to learn from his experience. He says, “Wisdom is as valuable an asset as all-out brilliance.”

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Plantronics Gaming believes in the power of voice-enabled gaming and they are available to support studios like Reactive Studios and their game Codename Cygnus.

Time for a Bit of Fun

An avid gamer, Rosemond spends his free time playing everything from console games to mobile and tablet games. He enjoys travel, specifically the opportunity to engage with other gamers from around the world. He continues to game while on the road, saying, “I love how gaming can be a bridge between cultures.” He also enjoys snowboarding, but still manages to gets in a quick run of Pocket Trains or Clash of Clans while going up the lift.

The game Rosemond is currently playing the most is Hearthstone from Blizzard Entertainment. He believes, “It’s going to be a great mobile and PC title with a healthy eSports and community component.” His favorite platform is iOS, mainly because of its availability. These days, he is also equally enjoying the next generation of consoles from Xbox and PlayStation, which he got to be on the leading edge of digital entertainment at home and for work-related research.

Social Meta-Gaming

Rosemond predicts the next big trend in the game industry will be the continued integration of social experiences combined with meta-gaming fueled by eSports. He is currently working with a number of leaders in the eSports and free-to-play space and points out, “I included the free-to-play space because they are obligated by their business model to build out these enhanced social and meta-gaming experiences.”

Europe 2014Video Coverage

Jonathon Myers on an Entirely Acoustic Experience of Story | Casual Connect Video

February 18, 2014 — by Catherine Quinton

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Jonathon Myers is CEO and Co-founder of Reactive Studios, a company which he formed to create a new type of game called “interactive radio drama.” He explains, “It is an entirely acoustic experience of story in which you use your voice to play a role.” Their first title is Codename Cygnus, a spy-thriller released on iOS and showcased at Casual Connect Europe‘s Indie Prize Showcase.

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Jonathan Myers, CEO and Co-Founder, Reactive Studios

Myers comes to Reactive Studios with a background in entertainment industries. He was originally a creative writer and playwright, earning a student Academy Award nomination for a short film he co-wrote. One of his early experiences in the games industry was writing for Dejobann Games, a Boston indie company, working on the Valve Potato Sack ARG, which led to the release of Portal 2. He then began adapting story IP to Facebook for various companies. He worked as game writer for Zynga Boston on Indiana Jones Adventure World, which was named a top 5 social game of 2011 by Gamesutra. From there, he went to a narrative designer position with Disruptor Beam, planning the story and leading the writing team on Game of Thrones Ascent. He got into mobile through designing narrative and writing for Jack Lumber by Owlchemy Labs, and his focus remains on mobile today.

Community Support

Myers particularly appreciates the camaraderie of indie developers and the community of support among writers around the world. Boston holds several monthly meetups where they come together to share knowledge, discuss problems and demonstrate games. He enjoys the same community cooperation at trade meetings such as GDC and Casual Connect.

Jonathon Myers and voice actor Logan Cunningham at the PAX Indie Megabooth in Seattle.
Jonathon Myers and voice actor Logan Cunningham at the PAX Indie Megabooth in Seattle.

The games industry entices him with the challenges of creative problem solving both as a writer and a designer. Delivering an entertainment product satisfies his desire to reach others with his creative work. And because it is a booming commercial industry, he can take practical steps to grow both his career and his business.

Innovation and Interaction

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Their first title is Codename Cygnus, a spy-thriller released on iOS

Innovation is especially important to Myers. He reached a turning point in his career with the opportunity to explain the innovations in the narrative of Indiana Jones Adventure World when he spoke at the Games Narrative Summit in Austin, TX in 2012. He tells us, “We had worked very hard to do something very different with story for a Facebook game.” With this game, he says, “I felt like a pioneer staking out new territory.” And now, the use of narrative elements has become much more prevalent in the mobile/social space. He insists, “I try to walk that path of innovation in all my projects.”

He tells us interactive entertainment is a category he expects will continue to boom in parallel with more accessible development tools that allow content authors to have creative control. As well, advances in mobile hardware and peripherals will allow for more innovations in audio. The limitations in these areas have been holding mobile games back until recently.

Reactive Studios are working to reach the largest possible audience for interactive stories, using a focus on acoustic storytelling. They are targeting an overlapping audience of audiobook listeners and casual gamers, with game content driven by audience demand. For 2014, they plan to focus on partnerships for new titles, allowing for rapid growth of the company.

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