Mac game publisher
announced today it will hire
President and founder Glenda Adams to head Aspyr’s newly created role of Director of PC and Mac Development. MacCentral spoke with Adams and Westlake Vice President Phil Sulak to find out more about how this change is likely to affect the Mac game market.
Adams sees her new role at Aspyr as a continuation of work she’s already been doing. “In some ways it will be a change of pace, but in others it will be much of the same work I’ve done at Westlake for 6 years,” she told MacCentral.
“The things I’ll be doing that are same will be keeping the games on schedule as much as possible, scheduling programmers, coordinating with marketing and production, making sure we do thorough testing, etc,” Adams explained. “Basically taking care of all the day to day details that get us from a license for an existing game to having a gold master CD ready to go to duplication. I’ve done much of that for the 10-15 games Westlake shipped each year, and I’ll do the same for even more titles at Aspyr.
Adams said that in her new role, she’ll be coordinating the external development efforts of PC and Mac conversions. What’s more, she’ll be bringing talent in-house to enable Aspyr to create games itself.
“In the past Aspyr has outsourced all of their development, and the relationships with outside developers were managed by several different people. Now there will be a development side of the company that can do internal development, manage outside contractors and take care of all of the development details to allow marketing and support to do their jobs better,” Adams said.
Adams suggested that Aspyr would continue its current track of developing PC and Mac conversions of popular game console titles. “As many of the larger game companies move some of their games to console only (Xbox/PS2), there will be a chance for Aspyr to do more PC and Mac games like Tony Hawk Pro Skater 4 and Spy Hunter.”
Aspyr won’t lay all of its eggs in one basket, though, according to Adams. “Aspyr will also continue bring the best PC games to the Mac, like they’ve done with The Sims, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, and Jedi Knight II.”
Adams explained that Aspyr’s ability to license both PC and Mac conversions of games enables the company to better control development. “We can put more effort into everything from cross platform multiplayer support to more coordinated patches and closer ship dates.”
“It’s going to be my goal to have our PC and Mac titles ship the same day,” said Adams. She admitted that it “may take a few titles” to reach that goal, but she’s optimistic that Aspyr will be able to consistently provide simultaneous PC and Mac releases of forthcoming games.
“Since I’ve been on the other side of the fence as an external developer working with a publisher for years, I’m hoping to make the experience as positive as I can for our outside developers,” Adams said. “We want them to make high quality games for us, and one of the best ways to do that is to make sure everything we’re responsible for is done right, so they can concentrate on what they are good at.”
Sulak is quick to note that Adams’ departure certainly doesn’t mean the end of Westlake Interactive. He and another founding partner, Ken Cobb, will divide Adams’ former duties, with Suellen Adams continuing to manage the business.
“We’ve got plenty of projects to keep us busy, with more showing up in the coming weeks and months,” Sulak told MacCentral during a brief respite from working on the German language conversion to MacSoft’s new title Dungeon Siege. “Thankfully, we’ve got the best group of Mac game programmers in the biz to back us up.”
Westlake and Aspyr have long had a close working relationship — something Sulak readily admits — although Aspyr has also brought on board several other companies to assist it with Mac (and now PC) game conversions in recent months. Sulak anticipates that Adams’ working at Aspyr will be an extension of that close relationship the two companies already share.
“[Glenda] knows gaming technology better than anyone I know, and I think she’ll provide a key ingredient to the Aspyr mix,” said Sulak. “I would be remiss if I didn’t mention how important Glenda was to Westlake. She’s a fantastic programmer and excellent businessperson, and helped build Westlake into the company it is today.”