Friday, 16 June 2017

Develop:Five - Mark Sorrell, Rovio

Every week, we ask some of the best game development minds five questions in a feature we are calling Develop:Five. This week, Mark Sorrell from Rovio answers our five question blog feature.

1. What’s your earliest memory of playing video games?
Playing Superman on the Atari VCS when I was about four in 1980ish. It was the first game I played where you could walk off the side of the screen and it didn't loop or block you, there was actually another part of the world to explore. Which at the time was basically witchcraft.

2. What are you most excited or annoyed about in the games industry today?
I'm mostly excited about the incredible breadth of experiences and possibilities in the panoply of things that we call videogames and mostly annoyed about the lack of words to describe them. Having spent considerable time in Finland, Finnish has different words for playing a musical instrument, playing without explicit purpose, like a child does, or playing a competitive game, along with others. In English we have none of that subtlety, which leads to a lot of needless arguments and slows down the progress of the medium(s).

3. Tell us about a life-changing or special moment you've had at Develop:Brighton in the past? 
In truth, there is no one stand out moment. Develop has been more like a clock, parcelling out my time in the industry, allowing me to see how things have changed, how I've changed, how the industry has changed, and how it hasn't, catch up with old acquaintances and meet new ones. For me it's less an instrument of change and more a device to measure it.

4.  What are you most looking forward to at Develop:Brighton 2017?
I know you want me to say Tetsuya Mizuguchi but the real answer is the ten minutes directly after I've finished my talk. The buzz when you come off stage is _the_100_emoji_

5. Which game developer would you most like to meet and why?

I have no idea what his English is like because my Japanese is non-existent, but presuming we could actually communicate, Yasumi Matsuno, the game director of Final Fantasy 12, which for me is the most forward thinking and visionary game ever made. I want to know how he managed to believe in his vision so completely.

Mark Sorrell is Head of Studio at Rovio's London Studio, a new venture set-up to build mobile F2P MMO games. Over the last two years, Mark has helped Rovio complete the transition to a true F2P company, as Vice President, Product. This comes after a career spent making games for unusual platforms, customers and business models. 
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Find out more about Develop:Brighton and Mark's talk here