Interview

Matthew Buxton, Ideation lead at Mag Interactive, on how great ideas "can carve through the competition"

Matthew Buxton, Ideation lead at Mag Interactive, on how great ideas "can carve through the competition"

Matthew Buxton is Ideation lead at MAG Interactive AB.

He started in the gaming industry in 2004 as a 3D artist working on PlayStation 2 games.

Over the years he’s worked over a range of roles and platforms, from level design at Jagex to mobile design at Miniclip in Portugal, as a game designer at King in Berlin and is currently Ideation Lead at Mag Interactive where he focuses on casual multiplayer games.

We caught up with Buxton to talk about prototyping, ideation, and how great ideas can still make an impact.

PocketGamer.biz: Could you tell us a bit about Mag Interactive?

Matthew Buxton: Mag Interactive is a global mobile gaming studio with a focus on casual multiplayer games for smartphones, with the purpose to deliver sticky entertainment for years to come. Under the motto of “Good Times” MAG strives to give players a long lasting, rich experience that will be fondly remembered. Best known for word and trivia games, MAG creates outsized experiences with small agile teams.

What does your role entail?

As Ideation Lead I am responsible for keeping the production pipeline stocked with fresh game ideas and proposals, following these games and their teams from concept into production.

Why did you want to work in the games industry?

Ever since I started messing with the rules of games on my old BBC computer! I always loved to create levels in games like Age of Empires, I saw it as a natural extension of playing and making tabletop games and just wanted to be a part of the industry.

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

My advice would be to start reaching out to people in the industry while still studying to get advice on your projects. Unity, Unreal, scripting and coding are invaluable as they allow you to create your own ideas from the ground up. Also make sure your project works when you show it off!

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

There still seems like there is room for smaller players to come up with successful games like Archero, the strongest bets are massive IP’s but good ideas actually can carve through the competition.

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

The subscriptions from Apple and Google will start to cannibalise the paid app space and the app store will become more of a showcase for these services. Stadia will be at the mercy of US internet speeds but it will release its first “Netflix exclusive” style game to lock in subscribers.

How has the games industry changed since you first started?

Since I started everything has changed, the rise of streamers and streaming has changed the way consumers interact with the industry forever, mobile has risen from novelty paid apps to a streamlined machine encompassing every kind of talent. And Nintendo is still Nintendo!

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

Live Ops Landscape, Living Games tracks.

At Pocket Gamer Connects London 2020, Matthew Buxton will be giving a talk called "When to prototype and why." You can find out more about the show, and get your tickets, by clicking here.


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