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Simon Platt, Head of Development, Spotlight Podcast

Simon Platt, Head of Development Spotlight Podcast

Hello and welcome to the Kwalee Podcast, where myself, Matthew Barter, the Ambassador and Content Manager at Kwalee, will sit down with industry leaders to unravel the stories behind successful games. In this episode, I am joined by Simon Platt, our Head of Development. With over 12 years in the games arena and a track record of steering dev teams through the creation of 150 titles, including chart-toppers on the Apple App Store and Google Play, Simon brings a wealth of experience. Join us as we delve into his journey, from managing teams to contributing to hits like TENS!, Jetpack Jump, and PLANK! 


Right, Simon, thank you for being here. Before the interview, I looked at your career leading up to now, and it's full of interesting facts, like you were into professional wrestling and then moving into the games industry. But that exploration and also wanting to absorb what was going on around you, is that something you've taken into all these different things you've done and leading up to now? Have you always stayed curious? 

Well, yeah, wrestling was the big one. Wrestling was the one where if you didn't listen up, you were the 80% of people who’d go to training every week, and you didn’t take enough from it. It's such a weird sport to be in because it's about communication and trust. It's about feeling out the situation in any second, any minute and adapting to those moments. And so it's very much about being aware, so being aware of the audience, aware of your opponent, and aware of your positioning. So wrestling opened so many doors for me, emotionally more than anything else. I suddenly was coming out of my shell, I was suddenly confident in something I was doing. I could be this persona, this character. I could shout and scream and fake it until you make it almost. I'm portraying this confidence and then over time, it builds and builds. I sort of see this in gamers often as well and those that enjoy that sort of escapism.


Simon Platt, Head of Development, Spotlight Podcast


Jumping back to the past for a moment. At seven, I was reading, you were forced to go and say hello to the neighbours, and you saw them playing the NES Super Mario and that was the spark for you? 

Yeah, it was unbelievable. Imagine a caveman discovering the internet, that’s how I felt. My eyes just followed this cable from the controller back and forth to the TV, just trying to understand how they're possibly controlling the television. All I remember is feeling like nothing else mattered in that moment, like this is the medium for me. This is everything that I want. I want to sit there. I want to forget the world exists. I want to dive into experiences like this. And then from that point onwards, I had the luxury of two older brothers who bought every console and every game. And so just by osmosis, I was absorbing all this stuff! 


You’ve mentioned your wrestling and how much it meant to you, so how did you go from wrestling to games? 

In 2011, my brothers and I began the Wrestling Association of Rugby, a local wrestling show. Despite the risks, we secured a wrestling ring and organised events every three months. As our audience grew, we then expanded by running a training school—the Impact Wrestling Academy. This period marked the point of my wrestling career, I enjoyed acting out my wrestling character, cutting promos, and interacting with the crowd. However, the stress around perfecting wrestling moves, coupled with my anxiety, led to a shift in focus. Post-wrestling, I struggled with a professional direction until I had a realisation that games could be a career. Joining Codemasters, I found newfound pride and value, mirroring the satisfaction wrestling once provided, and now I’ve progressed to Kwalee Head of Development, I couldn’t be happier where I am now. 


So if you could go back 12 plus years ago, what advice would you give yourself?

I'd encourage myself to have more ambition. Despite lacking confidence initially, positive feedback about my skill in games nudged me to explore new pathways within QA. If I could advise my past self, it would be to push boundaries, recognise untapped potential, and strive for more rather than staying comfortable in the shadows of my job, no matter how well performed.


And there's even more to explore! Get insights into Simon's take on Pokemon, a peek into his gaming cave, and a deep dive into his Warhammer fascination. Plus, don't miss the interview, going live at 8pm BST / 3pm EST on Friday 24th November 2023, and also available on Spotify podcast. Join us for an exclusive look into the world of Simon Platt, click below to begin. We can't wait to share it with you!





Matthew Barter, our Ambassador and Content Manager here at Kwalee, is a seasoned content creator, actor, and educator with 10+ years' experience.

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