“In our workplace we put a big emphasis on having fun because we’re creating fun.” In You’ve Got This this week, CEO & Co-Founder of Arkadium Jessica Rovello shares what appealed to her about gaming as an entrepreneur, the growth in casual games, and answering audience questions on the role of play in the workplace.
Victoria: “How did you know that interactive content and mobile games were what you wanted to pursue professionally?”
Jessica: “I started Arkadium at 26 in 2001 with my co-founder and husband, Kenny, way before mobile games existed. At the start we just wanted to do something that would be a net positive in the media/entertainment space. We knew that games would have a long tail – that we could create a game once and have it be playable and fresh for years. That definitely appealed to us as young entrepreneurs who were bootstrapping our company.”
Victoria: “With 75% of adults aged 45-64 playing games for approximately 16 hours per week, in 2021, how do you see the casual games space continuing to evolve and grow?”
Jessica: “Every year the types of games Arkadium makes, classic casual games, are growing in popularity and time spent – as is the whole games market. On average 10,000 people a day are turning 65. Adults 45 and older make up a massive portion of the US population (40%) but aren’t nearly as catered to as teens and young adults when it comes to gaming, it’s our aim to change that.”
Questions from reader Matthew A. Wilson: “What’s the role of play in the workplace? What games are you currently playing? (Video games and board games)? And what trends in gaming are you most excited about?”
Jessica: “In our workplace we put a big emphasis on having fun because we’re creating fun.
I play our games every day but right now I’m hooked on Arkadium’s Mahjong Solitaire, Daily Crossword and Price is Right Plinko Pegs. I also play Roblox with my kids and the occasional NBA 2k.
I would say more curious than excited, but I’m very interested to see if play to earn takes off globally and has staying power. Play to earn games use the blockchain to allow players to earn digital assets (think crypto and NFTs) through their in-game engagement, essentially shifting control of in-game economies from developers to players.”
Victoria: “What would your advice be for others looking to create in gaming or interactive content?”
Jessica: “Just start! There are tons of resources, courses and communities freely available to aspiring game developers, artists and designers. If you’d like to see what making a game is like before deciding to make a career change, I highly recommend taking part in a local or online game jam for a weekend and seeing if you enjoy it.”