The gaming industry as we know it is filled with hundreds of developers – both large studios and small, indie and corporate. In the last decade, the San Francisco Bay Area has truly become an ever-growing hub for gaming. Telltale resides in San Rafael, Sony in San Mateo, EA in Redwood City, 2K in Novato, Supergiant in San Jose – the list goes on. Gazillion is one of those many developers, also in San Mateo, only a few minute drive away from Sony’s flashy headquarters. Gazillion is different from the others, but you’ve either heard of them (and are a fan of their games) or you haven’t.
Over the next several weeks, I will be spending time at Gazillion (as I’ve mentioned a few times on Twitter), getting to know people in different departments – art, design, finance, producers, engineering, and more – and see what goes on behind the scenes. Only being here for a few days, it’s very clear Gazillion and the culture it promotes within the studio are very progressive, and worth paying attention to. Something as simple as involving the QA team in decisions and testing from the beginning (as opposed to the traditional last few weeks before shipping model) and quickly transferring contract employees to full-time may seem like a no-brainer, but other studios just don’t do it.
Gazillion is working on producing a lot of great content and stomping down the social stigmas of working in the gaming industry. In September of last year, former Infinity Ward executive producer (and Marvel Heroes fan) Mark Rubin joined Gazillion’s board. Mark has been a huge part of this industry when it comes to AAA titles – if that doesn’t tell you Gazillion is up to something and brewing up something good, I’m not sure what will. The big names at Gazillion are countless, and their attitude towards an open studio that encourages learning and moving up the ladder is heartwarming. It’s a unique story, and I hope you’re just as excited to dive into it as I am.