The Top 30 Women in Games: Part One

The MCV Women in Games Awards, in association with Women in Games (WIGJ) will take place on Thursday May 19th at the Hamyard Hotel, London.

There the recently announced Top 30 Women in Games will be celebrated, while six special awards will be presented.

Here we take a look at ten of the Top 30 Women in Games 2016…

Debbie Bestwick – MD, Team 17

Debbie Bestwick is MD at veteran developer and games label Team 17 and has been with the company since it was founded in 1990. She has a wealth of experience covering all aspects of retail, distribution, development and publishing video games.

In 2013 she launched Team 17’s Games Label Program and has a great eye for interesting games. Bestwick is disrupting traditional publishing and always endeavours to help independent developers, whether they are signed to Team 17’s program or not. She believes in helping developers to set themselves up as sustainable businesses.

According to her team, Bestwick is focused, never stops working and, as a founding member of Team 17, has been a fundamental part in the studio’s success”.

She was named as Person of the Year in the MCV Awards last year.

Katherine Bidwell – Co-Founder, State of Play

Katherine was producer and a designer on Lumino City, which was made by a small indie team and went on to beat a bunch of triple-A titles to win a BAFTA Games Award for Artistic Achievement.

Bidwell helped organise the team which comprised architects, animators and model makers, and contributed to the design process along the way. She’s an outspoken advocate of both creativity in games and the role of women in games. And alongside her work on the board of UKIE she gives inspiring talks all over the country encouraging people to think differently about how games can be made.

Emily Britt – Senior PR Manager, Pokmon Company

Not only is Emily the Senior PR manager at Pokmon, she also found time to head up industry charity GamesAid as its Chair before stepping down at the start of the 2016. In the last year 564,000 has been raised by the UK games business, an increase of 29 per cent over previous years.

Fluent in French and Spanish, Britt began her career as a QA technician at GT Interactive in 1997 and has since taken in PR roles at Konami, SCi, Eidos, 2K Games and Square Enix. She joined the Pokemon Company in 2013 and is currently on maternity leave, having taken on her most important role to date – that of being a new mum.

Noirin Carmody – Co-Founder, Revolution; Chair, UKIE

Noirin Carmody is the founder and COO at Revolution Software where her key responsibility is strategic business affairs. She negotiated the company’s buy-out from Virgin Interactive Entertainment in 1998 and was instrumental in managing the shift from large in-house studio to core teams that include freelance specialists, and external work-for-hire companies, in anticipation of the emerging digital market.

Carmody joined London-based US games publisher Activision in the ’80s, where she launched the highly successful Sierra Online brand in Europe and later as General Manager was instrumental in the handover following the sale of the company.

Alongside her ‘day job’ at Revolution, Carmody took over as Chair of UKIE last year and also sits on a number of advisory boards including York University, Creative England, and Yorkshire Television Society.

Cat Channon – Director of International PR, WB Games

One of the most popular PRs in the business, Channon began her career working at an independent games exchange retailer. There she was scouted by Sky’s Gamesworld TV show and then moved on to work on Future’s Official PlayStation Magazine. From there Channon’s career path headed into PR, as she took up roles at Bam! Entertainment and moving onto Take-Two, Vivendi and Blizzard, NCSoft and now Warner Bros.

But it’s Channon’s charity work, particularly for GamesAid, that’s been highlighted by those who nominated for the Awards. Just a few of her achievements include starting and running the Gamescom to Brighton bike ride; swimming to Africa (twice); running the London Marathon; baking cakes. Indeed, we’re told that Channon is GamesAid’s single biggest fundraiser.

She also finds time to mentor two young programmers as part of the WB Creative Talent programme.

Jo Cooke – Director of Marketing, Frontier Developments

Jo Cooke is a true games industry marketing veteran, having enjoyed professional stints at some of the leading games businesses over the past 25 years. These include Ocean Software, Maxis, Empire Interactive, Philips ambx, Rising Star and now Frontier Developments.

Jessica Curry – Composer/Company Director, The Chinese Room

Curry created the score for her company’s game Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture. Her artistry and company drive is admirable at the highest level. Being the co-head of her company, The Chinese Room, she has lead the development of a successful Playstation Network game and been a true advocate for women in the games industry. Curry is also a prolific musician, and has been put forward for a BAFTA for her work in this area. She was awardeded the PRSF Women Make Music grant and is currently working withPoet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy.

Rosemarie Dalton – International Marketing Manager, Bethesda Softworks

Generally swerving the spotlight, Rosemarie Dalton nonetheless boasts an impressive games industry CV. She began her career in operations at Virgin Interactive, but was quickly talent-spotted and offered a role in marketing, where she ultimately managed the Westwood Studios account. The success of the Command & Conquer franchise was in no small part down to Dalton, say former colleagues.

When Westwood Studios switched to EA, so did Dalton. But was soon reunited with some of her former Virgin colleagues at Bethesda, where she now handles international marketing.

Meanwhile, she has served on the Board of Games Aid for many years and has worked tirelessly for the charity. She picked up the Unsung Hero accolade at the MCV Awards earlier this year.

Angela Dickson – Sales Director, Activision

Angela Dickson is responsible for the sales and commercial strategy for all Activision Blizzard titles, working across some of the world’s biggest entertainment franchises including; Call of Duty, Destiny, Skylanders and World of Warcraft.

She joined Activision in 2005 as a controller, taking in positions including channel director and market operations director, before being appointed sales director in 2013.

Prior to Activision, she enjoyed stints at Kodak, Ferrania Technologies and Hasbro.

Amanda Farr – Head of Content & Services, Xbox

After six years at Sega, latterly in the role of European marketing director, Amanda Farr joined Microsoft last year Xbox head of content and services for the UK.

Running a team of three product marketing managers, she is responsible for revenue delivery and marketing of all Microsoft Studios games, Xbox Live subscriptions and transactions, plus all third party publisher marketing relations.

Farr is a seasoned industry leader with more than ten years’ experience in the games industry and has had tremendous impact in the year since joining Microsoft. She is already internally recognized as a senior female business leader at Microsoft and is equally respected externally by the retailer and publisher partners she works with.

Farr is also a member of Everywoman, an external body designed to help women in business to share experiences, opportunities and ideas.

The MCV Women In Games event takes place at the Hamya

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