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EGD 5: Building a Flat Organization for a Games Company with Futureplay Games Founder and CEO Jami Laes

Today I had a talk with Jami Laes, Co-Founder and CEO of Futureplay Games, the makers of Battlelands Royale. Jami is a long-time games industry veteran, who’s career spans from working at Digital Chocolate, EA, Rovio and now at his own company. Jami and his team have been exploring better ways of working on games, and today now he will share these learnings with us.

Highlights in this episode:

  • Jami has always had the entrepreneurial spirit and has had several opportunities to start a games company, but situation and circumstances didn’t get aligned until 2014 when the guys started working on Futureplay Games
  • Company is growing, and keeping the simple and small mentality even when having seven-figure annual numbers
  • Learning as a CEO: Reading less nowadays, more talking to people and learning from what they have done, i.e. Ilkka Paananen the CEO of Supercell
  • You can’t understand everything from books, you need to “walk the walk”
  • You need to have people who can take on several roles, versatile and experienced people can take you far
  • Jami and his founding team wanted to start this company from scratch, and have no BS from the previous companies they’ve been in. No processes, no nailed down decisions, unless if it makes sense for them in this new order.
  • Important direction in people’s career development should be the things they get to work on, what skills they can learn on the job, and learning from others
  • Futureplay is figuring out the people operations, want to avoid rigid frameworks
  • Futureplay works with four Cs from “normal life” — Communication, consultation, collaborate, consensus with each other, to make games and work as a company
  • Approach to game creation: is there a market, is the prototype working. The game needs to be something old, new and blue.
  • Advise to aspiring entrepreneur: It’s not as hard as it seems

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