People Make Kwalee: Callum Godfrey

People Make Kwalee - Callum Godfrey

Kwalee is made up of a diverse bunch of people, and we’re growing all the time! We’re pulling back the curtains and focussing on the people that make it all happen.

This time, we’re sitting down with Callum, our enthusiastic Head of Casual Games at Kwalee!

What do you do at Kwalee?

I’m the Head of Casual Games at the company, and right now I’m excited to bring knowledge from my time working within F2P and Mobile games to help us make really good Casual games.

Building upon our existing success in hypercasual, my primary goal is to help us find great opportunities to expand into Casual games in the right way, with the right frame of mind for evaluating the potential of a game right through to how we will make and run each Casual game in the coming months and years as we both sign and build our own titles.

What’s the first game you’ve played that inspired you?

I’ve been playing games as long as I can remember, and most of my early childhood memories come from playing games on a Spectrum 48k on an old black and white television and being completely unaware as a child that games were better with a colour TV. The first one I remember being properly hooked by was Knight Lore, and I would pour hours and hours of my life into that game. In many ways, I blame that game for my unhealthy love of RPG games that has been with me for the rest of my life!

Gaming to this very day still remains a huge part of my life and not just for me to play and enjoy for myself. It’s actually been a way for me to connect with my sons who are both diagnosed as Autistic and to bond with them through play in a way that we can all enjoy. Now it’s the knowledge that I’m creating experiences that people of all ages, backgrounds and walks of life can enjoy which inspires me most!

Why is your role important at Kwalee?

Casual Games represent one of the most vibrant and influential sectors in the gaming industry, with huge potential audiences, amazing memorable gaming experiences and the ability to create games that become a part of the fabric of a player’s life. For a company as creative, passionate and successful as Kwalee getting into Casual Games is important on two fronts. Firstly, it’s a great business opportunity. Secondly, it’s a fantastic outlet for us to push our limits in new ways – technically, creatively, and analytically.

With experience in Free-to-Play gaming since that really became a business, I can safely say it’s where my heart belongs. And now my goal at Kwalee is to help us make big strides as a new entrant into the Casual sector, bringing great games to a massive audience and entertaining them with games that make them feel good. I’d love to keep them excited to play for days, weeks, months and years and help Kwalee become a huge success in this new venture.

What’s something about your role that might surprise people?

Casual Games is so broad a definition that it covers a huge range of different game types and audiences that might play them. I go from one meeting talking about the marketing algorithms of social networks and how that affects our games to another one looking at how to write great content for interactive romantic fiction games. No two days are the same so it’s impossible to ever run out of new things to learn or new ideas to get inspired by.

What’s the best part about your role?

It’s the opportunity to take some hard-won experience and use that to not just make great games here at Kwalee but to help other people learn new skills and make even better games as a result. The Kwalee team are so hungry to try new things, and it’s fantastic to have such an eager audience who want to absorb my experience and contribute to my own learning and growth by sharing theirs with me.

This is all about the people we have and the culture we’ve built where curiosity is encouraged. It’s really great to be in a role where I know that every day when I arrive at the office that I will have a good day because we’re here to make something special together.

How did you end up in games and what’s been your path in the industry so far?

I have always loved video games. However, this wasn’t my chosen career when I was growing up. I fell into it — sort of by accident — after I suffered a serious knee injury while playing rugby. This was the career I wanted and expected to follow at the time, so I ended up unsure of what to do with myself. I was incredibly lucky to live just a couple of miles down the road from Codemasters in my home town of Southam and while I was unsure what to do with myself after my injury I applied for a testing job and here I am 23 years later. From day 1, this is what I knew I would be doing for the rest of my life.

Since starting out in the industry I’ve been fortunate enough to work on games covering almost every platform, genre, size and audience. Having worked on huge AAA franchises like Call of Duty, blockbuster movie ties-ins like Transformers and some of the best racing games in the world I decided to leave PC and Console to test the waters on Free To Play. I moved into Facebook games with EA and had my eyes opened to a whole new world… one where you could literally give your game away and still make money. What better way to entertain as many people as possible!

Since then, Games as a Service (GaaS) and Free-to-Play have been my world and I have covered the biggest Casual and Midcore games on mobile with King the makers of Candy Crush and Wargaming, the makers of World of Tanks.

How does life at Kwalee differ from other companies you’ve worked with?

The welcome I have had since joining has been one of the warmest and most positive of my career with everyone incredibly hungry to learn, lend a hand, push themselves beyond their comfort zones and to embrace change – everything that the company culture talks about you can see lived by the team here day in and day out.

I’m really excited to join Kwalee for a huge number of reasons. The success we’ve had in hypercasual is a testament to the company culture – it’s a bold, fast-paced and highly creative spirit where each of us is empowered to think outside the box and be entrepreneurial to find new ideas and opportunities, backed with the power of data to avoid taking risks that are unlikely to be a success.

Over the history of the company we’ve developed a first-class marketing and data team, something that is fundamental to the success of any mobile game. I am excited to now help us take the great foundations we have and apply those skills in different new ways as we look at Casual titles from both an internal development and publishing standpoint.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to join the games industry?

One of the best things about working in games is being surrounded by so many like-minded people – it’s almost like a family and you get out of those relationships what you put in. Being passionate about games as amazing pieces of entertainment and cultural talking points should be the fuel that keeps you going, but you should also be curious and eager to learn. Even after two decades, I’m still learning because the industry is constantly evolving and has that sense of wonder and excitement to always learn more, grow and work with even stronger teams. That is a vital part of what makes our industry’s culture work.

Since starting out in the industry I’ve been fortunate enough to work on games covering almost every platform, genre, size and audience. Having worked on huge AAA franchises like Call of Duty, blockbuster movie ties-ins like Transformers and some of the best racing games in the world I decided to leave PC and Console to test the waters on Free To Play and moved into Facebook games with EA and had my eyes opened to a whole new world… one where you could literally give your game away and still make money. What better way to entertain as many people as possible!

Since then, Games as a Service (GaaS) and Free-to-Play have been my world and I have covered the biggest Casual and Midcore games on mobile with King the makers of Candy Crush and Wargaming, the makers of World of Tanks.

We are on our way to 1 billion+ installs on a global scale! It’s the perfect opportunity for you to join the games industry. We have 170+ job roles available for everyone, including remote opportunities! Head over to our jobs page and check out your desired role at Kwalee.