'Plug and play' consultancy for game developers launches

12 July 2017 Consultancy.uk

Former marketing director Stephen Hey has established a new consulting firm specialising in video gaming. The Manchester-based company will offer clients the opportunity to leverage Hey’s extensive experience in the industry, which spans almost a quarter of a century.

The global entertainment and media outlook by Big Four consultancy firm PwC recently projected the UK entertainment and media sector will reach a worth of £72 billion, boosted by a video games industry set to remain Europe’s largest market and the fifth largest globally. With revenue forecast for a 6% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the coming five year period, by 2021 the UK gaming market will be worth £5.2 billion. The video game market remains a prominent sector in the entertainment industry then, with approximately 1.8 billion gamers in the world, whose time is also increasingly spent playing computer games, rather than viewing traditional media.

It therefore comes as little surprise that a new generation of start-up consultancies are looking to offer industry players advice on how to best tap into the market, and Stephen Hey, a former marketing director at major developer Electronic Arts, along with previously heading marketing at EA Chillingo, has recently established just such an operation. The new firm, HeyStephenHey, focuses on advising video game producers, offering “plug and play” marketing expertise for independent developers and publishers. Hey boasts 24 years of experience in the gaming industry, having begun in PR – which he studied at Bournemouth University –  helping to promote Ocean’s ‘Jurassic Park’ way back in 1993, which was released onto the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES).

Since then the industry has been in a constant state of re-development and innovation, which saw Hey’s most recent involvement taking place in the mobile sector rather than the specialised console market, with the ’WarFriends’ app. As a marketing consultancy aimed at the independent game developer community, the new self-titled firm will seek to advise clients on marketing techniques and expertise for teams throughout a game’s lifecycle from the first marketing vision to the creation of the PC game.

HeystephenHey

The consultancy firm is geared to offer large range of services, from defining market position and consumer profiling to marketing tactics for clients. Hey, who is based in Manchester, also aims to combine PR with advertising and marketing with key partners Sony, Apple and Google in order to achieve respectable results for clients from all across the globe. However, rather than play it safe by purely advising more traditional technology companies, Hey decided to specialise in a new branch of consulting, utilising his close industrial ties to asset creators to leverage support from CGI houses or video production studios, and PR companies toward a wider marketing campaign.

Commenting on the new venture, Stephen Hey commented, "I've always loved working in games but always wanted to work with independent developers who are rich in ideas but don't necessarily have the resources for full time marketing teams. This role allows me to work with developers and publishers who are developing some of the most creative and innovative games in the industry and I can't tell you how exciting that is.”

Hey also explained his choice for the location of the new consultancy firm, favouring the North-West over the UK capital of London, “I’ve always lived and worked in Manchester, but over that time the games scene here has changed dramatically, from having big publishers like Ocean, to the landscape now which has some great developers but no large publishers. The great thing is that Manchester, and the region, is still very active in creating games that compete on a global basis, so it’s a perfect base for HeyStephenHey.”

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Robert Park on the launch of his consultancy RWG Enterprises

18 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Following a lengthy spell as a General Manager at an international materials corporation, Robert Park was keen to rediscover his inner entrepreneur. With the launch of his new consulting firm, RWG Enterprises, Park spoke with Consultancy.uk to outline his hopes for the future of the company, and how he believes his boutique will be able to challenge the market.

Robert Park commenced his career in retail, taking up a string of General Store Manager positions with companies – including Poundstretcher and The Gadget Shop – before making the 2005 move that would lead him to a 13-year stay with Morgan Advanced Materials. First taking up a role as Production Supervisor with the organisation, Park quickly worked his way to the upper echelons of the group. By 2013, he held the role of UK Operations Manager for the company’s UK ceramic core business, Certech UK, before seeing out his final four years at the firm as General Manager, leading the senior management team and strategic direction of the business.

Despite his success with the firm, however, Park found himself getting itchy feet. A change of career seemed increasingly appealing, and by February 2019, the time to take a new path had arrived.

Park explained: “I was losing the ability to to use the entrepreneurial flair that I had enjoyed in the past; the organisation was moving more towards a structured and common approach for doing things, and that made me feel restricted. I also really enjoy the troubleshooting, problem solving side of my role. However, having been in my last post for four years, the troubleshooting and firefighting was long behind me. I realised that I am really energised by tackling difficult issues or turning around things that are clearly struggling.”

New consulting firm RWG Enterprises launches

His criteria for a new career seemed to point conclusively in the direction of management consulting, and while his CV has no formal experience in the sector, Park believes his career to date has provided him with a wealth of transferable skills. During his time with Certech at Morgan Advanced Materials, he became a Senior Manager at the age of just 21, and went on to succeed in a harsh factory environment where six former candidates had previously failed to deliver results.

Later, he became the group’s youngest General Manager in its history, and was involved in the turnaround of numerous departments. He also developed vast experience dealing with a wide range of ‘people’ challenges, including re-organisation, talent development, talent acquisition and leadership development. Along the way, Park noted that he learned to deal with large, blue chip organisations such as Rolls Royce, securing major long-term contracts worth upwards of £25 million.

Now, he hopes to take that know-how and apply it to the diverse world of consulting work. Park elaborated: “I really want to be able to help organisations that feel that there is no hope or have lost faith in the business… Having been there myself I know how helpful it would have been to have someone to refer to in times of crisis… The firm will also focus on leadership development, as I spent a lot of time with the global graduate program during my corporate career… and I was really motivated to see these individuals grow and develop… helping them to find their own way through challenging situations.

New enterprise

Park’s new Derby-based consultancy, RWG Enterprises, will focus on five key operational fronts. As stated, leadership development and business rescue will be two of these areas, as well as manufacturing – where the firm will tackle challenges such as new product introduction. RWG will also offer financial advisory services and strategic business planning offerings.

While Park is understandably guarded about the firm’s initial engagements, he revealed that he has been “speaking at length to a well-known university and business school about providing mentoring and coaching support to students.” In the long-term, the aim is for RWG Enterprises to take on engagements from clients across the industrial spectrum. He added that as “the company is very embryonic”, it would be “foolish” to become too focused on target clients at this stage.

When asked how RWG Enterprises intends to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack, in an ever-more-crowded UK consulting sector, Park is undaunted by the task ahead. He stated, “I think the main differentiator is that we are small... I have operated at a very senior level for many years but I have enjoyed a very diverse background having worked in most functions within my last organisation. I also won’t take on any work or clients that I feel I cannot deliver value for, I am honest and ethical and am really motivated by seeing others become successful… The main thing I am focused on is 'can I add value' and 'can I help?'”