John Nilson is CEO and Founder of East Side Games, a mobile games studio based in Vancouver, BC.
What was the company’s journey like to get to where it is now?
East Side Games started in 2011, our games are used on IOS, Android and Facebook platforms. Our biggest game right now is Trailer Park Boys – Greasy Money. In 2011 we started with 14 people and now today we are at over 100 people. We have moved to two different offices and have had tonnes of failures along the way. In fact, we’ve probably had more failures than success – but we are still growing!
A lot of people in the industry see us as a fast-growing company. We are an overnight success, 7 years in the making. We are an independent studio and so we have to be able to stand out and compete with the big studios that have a lot more money and resources. So, we have to build to have that sort of indie feel to our games and I think that has been part of our success over the past 7 years.
What is it about your company’s culture that drives success?
At East Side Games we focus on both physical and mental health of our employees. We have healthier choices in the office for people to eat and schedule team-wide workouts to help motivate the team and relieve stress. It’s important to us that our employees are taken care of.
How do you as a leader ensure that your culture, is a culture, that creates success?
We have core values that we stand behind. Our aim is to ensure we are hiring people that want to go on this journey with us. We hire the best people that will be the best in the world for East Side Games. You can even see that with the passion in this office. Each team treats the games and products that they are working on as their own companies.
We have an open seating plan at East Side Games, lots of plants, lots of wood, everything that we do goes back to ESG cares, which means we work out of BC so we want to buy almost everything out of BC or at least out of Canada. We really want to keep that money back in BC because we operate out of here.
What’s next for East Side Games?
What’s next for East Side Games is that we are going to keep building for our passionate 40 million fanbase. We’re going to be providing them with some amazing new games coming out in the next couple of years. It’s going to blow them away.