PGC Seattle Speaker Spotlight: East Side Games CEO Josh Nilson on idle games as experiences for everyone

PGC Seattle Speaker Spotlight: East Side Games CEO Josh Nilson on idle games as experiences for everyone

Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle 2019 will take place on May 13th to 14th. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.

For more details on PGC Seattle and to book a ticket, head to the website here.

Today we're speaking to East Side Games CEO Josh Nilson, who will speak on the power of idle games as experiences for everyone. 

East Side is an independent studio based in Vancouver. The developer recently snagged the license for sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, which is set to be its next big game. Could you tell us a bit about the company?

Josh Nilson: Founded in 2011, East Side Games is a proudly independent and profitable game studio that is focused on making the best narrative idle games in the business, and creating the technology for developers to tell amazing stories.

In 2017, East Side Games launched Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money. Trailer Park Boys was a top 100 game in over 100 countries with great player reviews and excellent fan engagement. Look out for the launch of It’s Always Sunny: The Gang Goes Mobile, launching soon!

East Side Games also is a two-time winner of the Deloitte Technology Top 500 for the fastest growing start-ups in North America, and the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 in Canada. East Side Games strongly believes in community-driven design, making games built for fans by fans, and having the best culture around. Our games and our team have the same goal; to be inclusive and for everyone.

What does your role entail?

Running a small but busy studio, hiring the best people around, mentoring other studios in the amazing Vancouver game space, and disguising actual meetings by saying "let's go for a coffee".

Why did you want to get into the games industry?

It's amazing to make something and see immediate feedback from players. It's not enough to just have a great game, you need to provide exceptional service.

What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?

You need to have content to show at your interviews: playable demo, design doc, production plan, live stream links/ recordings, etc. Prove how you will make an immediate difference if hired.

What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?

Mobile continues to grow, more people are playing games on multiple platforms, and people are consuming content more than ever, across the board.

What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?

Not a trend, but more people are going to start playing games for the first time, and they will choose casual games. The term "gamer" will apply to more and more people in the next year.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

The biggest change in the last 10 years? Developers are maintaining games for years (live ops) versus making a new game.

Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?

The knowledge shared in the talks and the real stories that spill out in the pub afterwards.

Find out more about Pocket Gamer Connects Seattle 2019 on the website.


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