A Digital Perspective: Nic Watt, CEO, Nnooo

nicwatt

Ever wanted to make games for a living?

I only met Nic this year, and already I can tell what a brilliant man he is.  Not only is he the CEO of his games company, but he’s also incredible strategic about life and work. A really stand out for A Digital Perspective.

What do you do?

I am the Creative Director and CEO of a new games company based in Sydney. My typical day sees me waking at about 7, playing some World of Warcraft until about 8:30 at my desk and starting work between 8:30 and 9am. As we are still quite small my day to day work involves pretty much all aspects of our business such as designing our new games, liaising with media contacts to generate good press and having meetings with our various team members to see how the projects are going.

My core responsibilities are the management and finance of our projects as well as the art and design of them. This means that I have to manage my time effectively to ensure that our team has all the information they require to keep working while also leaving time for me to plan our future projects and the various PR related tasks I have to keep track of.

Biggest lesson you’ve learned?

There is a lot more to running your own business than just having a great idea and releasing it!

Best moment in your career?

Having Pop chosen as a launch title for WiiWare in the Americas and being part of the launch event in San Francisco.

You’re a qualified architect: how was this lead to you being the head chief of your own games company?

I have always been a really big gamer however during school it was never discussed as a career option. It wasn’t until my final years at University studying architecture that the Playstation 1 and Nintendo 64 came out. Both of these games consoles introduced the concept of 3d worlds and gaming to the public. I realised at that point that my architecture training could really apply to this industry as my skills were already in building 3d spaces and worlds.

I have been working in games since 1998 and was most recently a lead designer at EA games in London. During 2006 my partner was asked to move to Sydney to set up a new business and it was at that point I decided to leave EA and set up my own games company. The advent of the internet has pushed games into the online space and now with each console providing online stores for purchasing games I thought it would be a great time for a start-up to explore that space.

We were approved by Nintendo to develop for Wii in 2007 and completed our first game Pop as a launch title for their brand new online games service WiiWare in May 2008.

What’s your best piece of advice for anyone who wants to do what you do?

Learn your trade well and don’t give up. It is very hard work and the majority of companies fail for either being too ambitious or not completing a project. Finishing things is very, very hard but it is the only way you will move forward and gain respect.

If you could tell the industry one thing?

Selling games and applications for 99¢ is not a business model it is insanity. People are now paying more for milk and bread than great content. If we believe in our medium we need to start charging prices which reflect the quality of and hard work which goes into the great content we make.

Jye Smith is currently Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy & Operations, Asia Pacific at Weber Shandwick. Ranked in B&Ts 30 Under 30, Jye a regular keynote speaker and workshop facilitator who specialises in digital and social media strategist.

There are 4 comments for this article
  1. Nathan Bush at 12:18 pm

    Nice one Jye. I’m not a WOW player but love the fact that Nic spends a couple of hours playing before getting stuck in. I think that’s healthy for anyone in any occupation – dedicating time to enjoying the thing that is the reason for you doing what you do for a paycheck.

  2. Nic Watt at 8:35 am

    Thanks for the interview Jye!

    Glad to see some people don’t think my WoW playing is a bad thing :P

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