Debbie kickstarted her career in games back in the late 1980s working in independent games retail, before co-founding Team17 in 1990. Her life-long passion for games, and the people who make them, continues today as she supports developers to realise their creative vision.
Becoming CEO of Team17 in 2010, Debbie has since accelerated the company’s goal of encapsulating the spirit of independent games, with the launch of the Team17 independent games label in 2014. Over the past seven years, the label has seen Team17 launch nearly 50 titles released from external development studios of all sizes, from sole developers to studios of 40-person and more, with many becoming multi-award-winning along the way including the Overcooked! franchise, Yoku’s Island Express, Blasphemous, and Moving Out.
Debbie was awarded with an MBE in 2016 for her services to the video games industry.
Debbie continues to work closely with external studios and internally at Team17 as the company strives to encapsulate the spirit of independent games. She is a proactive mentor and role model for women across the games industry, and was recognised by the European Women in Games Conference in 2015 with an induction into the Hall of Fame.
After 30+ years in the games industry and with over 120 games created and launched, how do you manage the ups and downs of that journey? By signing amazing games, building franchises, transforming a business, helping build the studios of tomorrow - to taking the UK stock market by storm by quadrupling share prices within 2 years and winning entrepreneur of the year of the UK AIM stock market in 2020. And as one of the only female founders of a games listed company in the world today - by putting gaming first!
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It’s really nice to see some of the younger people in our studio come to Develop, interact with other people in the dev community and make new contacts. I think it’s really important to learn from other people.
Develop:Brighton’s a great conference. It’s got a spread of people from all parts of the games industry talking about such a wide range of topics.
We are so lucky to have Develop here in the UK. It’s a unique event where you can come and discover new things with people who care passionately about video games. It’s a sea full of new ideas.
Develop is a very important place – it’s one of the few developer focussed conferences we have in Europe and that makes it very valuable.
Develop:Brighton is especially unique - it’s by the seaside and there’s a lovely relaxed tone that goes with that.The talks are cool, the networking is cool and having the opportunity to catch up with people – that’s always the excitement for me!
There’s something creative about Brighton, so it’s the perfect place to have the conference.
There really is a huge mix of people at Develop - loads of peers that you can learn from and the perfect blend of every element of game development as well.
Building games is hard and it’s taxing physically, mentally and emotionally. So being around a community that understands that is great – there’s a comraderie here.
One of the things I like about Develop is it brings people together from across Europe and the whole world. There is a very high level of professionals here, so you have company leaders having drinks with juniors from their community.
Dr Mata Haggis-Burridge
I’ve been to every single Develop in the last 12 years. One thing you get here is networking - you will meet the most amazing individuals in the video games industry.
There are many ways you can be part of Develop:Brighton - including taking a booth in the Expo or choosing one of the many sponsorship opporunities during the event or at the Star Awards.Contact us now!