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   /  Amiga Gaming
      /  Team17 and CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE
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BigD 
Team17 and CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE
Posted on 16-Jun-2017 16:51:32
#1 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 5318
From: UK

I've not really understood Debbie Bestwick's rise to prominence at Team17 but this article really helped:

The Daily Telegraph: Debbie Bestwick's rise from retail to MBE

She's been described as the Simon Cowell of the British games industry so that says a lot in itself! She seems to be a 'go getter' with an ability to foster talent. On that basis good luck to her. It's sad that the likes of Martyn Brown didn't want to go along for the ride but it's all about big teams now and I guess that it's easier to market and HR/budget manage these external teams than it is to technically lead and personally manage the projects as Martyn Brown used to do. I can see how smaller teams are more fun to work in but the big money is in bigger games. Hence she bought out her fellow founders, hired an accountant and redirected Team17 into a sustainable digital publisher and games promotor primarily. A far cry from the Amiga games heritage they're known for but if they're giving young developers a chance in the indistry then that's a good thing.

Last edited by BigD on 16-Jun-2017 at 04:52 PM.

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elwood 
Re: Team17 and CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE
Posted on 16-Jun-2017 17:17:03
#2 ]
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Joined: 17-Sep-2003
Posts: 3424
From: Lyon, France

For those, like me, that don't know what MBE means;

Member of the Order of the British Empire: a British honour given to a person by the Queen for a particular achievement

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BigD 
Re: Team17 and CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE
Posted on 16-Jun-2017 17:29:20
#3 ]
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Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 5318
From: UK

@elwood

Quote:
Member of the Order of the British Empire: a British honour given to a person by the Queen for a particular achievement


In this case it's primarily for encouraging and mentoring women in the field of computer games.

Quote:
“Our Publisher programme is simply mind blowing in terms of what is happening,” she says. “We are changing people’s lives for the better on a daily basis.” Her aim moving forward is to continue to incubate indie studios and turn their games into huge successes. She also wants to actively mentor and encourage more young women to enter games, but also help those who are already in the industry to aim higher. “There’s simply too few women at the top level in our industry,” she says.


Source: http://www.mcvuk.com/news/read/top-100-women-in-games-debbie-bestwick/0144608

Last edited by BigD on 16-Jun-2017 at 05:43 PM.

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BigD 
Re: Team17 and CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE
Posted on 26-Feb-2020 0:47:37
#4 ]
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Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 5318
From: UK

@Thread

I think I've finally got both sides of this story now (both inspiring in their own way);

Debbie Bestwick's perspective:

https://www.makinggames.biz/news/interview-with-debbie-bestwick-of-team172305807.html

Martyn Brown's perspective (see post by Spadge 20th June 2016);

Martyn Brown gives his honest career timeline now airbrushed from Team17 history

Personally, as an Amiga fan and also conversely as a fan of The Apprentice / Dragon's Den I can appreciate the talents of both individuals. However, I struggle to understand the lack of acknowledgement for key co-founders / personnel once they move on! It's as if Martyn Brown and Michael Robinson never existed and it seems that once you sell out you're forgotten and your legacy assimilated into the owner's achievements! I can't see that Bill Gates or Steve Wozniak would be treated this way!

Bestwick is doing great business as a business support / multi-platform porting service provider / digital publisher but Team17 IMHO are not an ideas factory anymore and that is sad!

Martyn Brown took creative and financial risks and made cool games himself in a cut throat industry. His way to move onto a sustainable footing was to embrace mobile Free To Play (F2P) whereas Bestwick wanted to return to the early Team17 model of nurturing and publishing external talent. It seems that the later earns you an MBE and plaudits from the media whilst Brown is destined for anonymity without even any credits listed in remakes of his classic Amiga games! As long as they are both happy and can sleep well at night I guess?!

In summary, I'm sure we can learn a lot about them both though I don't expect they're on each other's Christmas card lists!

... now where's that interview with Michael Robinson?

Last edited by BigD on 26-Feb-2020 at 12:49 AM.

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BigD 
Re: Team17 and CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE
Posted on 26-Feb-2020 20:39:51
#5 ]
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Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 5318
From: UK

@Thread

Debbie Bestwick's Perspective Part 2

... as stated previously she's a canny business brain and can spot a good game but Martyn Brown knew how to make one from scratch! We need all types of people in this world but I wish the creatives were rewarded on par with the suits (although she claims she's not corporate she definitely is).

Last edited by BigD on 26-Feb-2020 at 08:42 PM.

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BigD 
Re: Team17 and CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE
Posted on 27-Feb-2020 10:05:33
#6 ]
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Joined: 11-Aug-2005
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From: UK

@Thread

Best overview article:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/arstechnica.com/gaming/2016/06/history-of-team17-and-worms/%3famp=1

Final comments; Team17 were the lifeblood of the Amiga gaming scene and along with the extra effort DMA Design put into Lemmings 2 on the Amiga are a big part of why I jumped ship from the Atari ST! Their business mistakes were out of a desire to push the Amiga hardware and amounted to a 'heart over head' development roadmap for a while in the late 90s and 00s.

I don't know how many units the Alien Breed Evolution trilogy sold but it was worth a punt IMHO just as if I owned the Alien Breed IP why not put it on VR now? I guess without Martyn Brown these punts will be few and far between and they will now just cherry pick other peoples' games and apply the Team17 polish!

I guess they have mixed their early business plan with that of Ocean to find sustainability going forwards. Their profits seem to allow them to rehash a Worms game every 3 years or remake an old IP like Superfrog but new ideas from the internal team like Flockers are rare now.

A different company for a different age maybe? I just hope the Amiga history isn't forgotten. It doesn't help that Martyn Brown seems burnt by the way his era ended. Some people can't see the writing on the wall until it's in caps lock and I guess as Amigans we can all relate to Martyn Brown's view of the games industry. Ken Levine is probably of the same mind although he will get more opportunities on the console / PC space and rightly so. F2P on mobile doesn't excite me but if getting your unique games to a mass audience is what matters to you then I can see why Martyn is pushing in that direction.

I guess Team17's output from now on should be viewed like Apidya; an awesome overlooked indie gem created by someone else and pushed into the limelight by a publishing house / multi-platform porting team that had been around the block and can help indies shine bright like Martyn Brown's internal team once did! That's at least a valid role but it's not the Team17 that I choose to remember.

Last edited by BigD on 27-Feb-2020 at 10:16 AM.
Last edited by BigD on 27-Feb-2020 at 10:12 AM.

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BigD 
Re: Team17 and CEO Debbie Bestwick MBE
Posted on 27-Feb-2020 12:05:40
#7 ]
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Joined: 11-Aug-2005
Posts: 5318
From: UK

@Thread


Quote:
rehash a Worms game every 3 years


... I guess that's why they got Andy Davidson back on board though the fact he was messing around with Director's Cut source code back in 2018 probably means they didn't give him enough to do!

And nothing seems to have come of the patch anyway!

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