David Perry

“When I worked in games media in the early 90s, I interviewed David the first time. Nearly 30 years later, I did a second interview. What a great person! And what a career!”


Founders Keepers

7+1 Questions

interviewed by

Torsten Oppermann


David Perry started in Northern Ireland working on the Sinclair ZX81 (early 1980’s), he moved to England from high school, ending up with a #1 hit for Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. 

He made the Terminator game from the James Cameron movie, then moved to California to make games like Aladdin for Disney, Earthworm Jim, and the Matrix for Warner Brothers. Perry’s last company Gaikai was bought for nearly $400M by Sony PlayStation. He’s now on the board of Intellivision, developers of the new Amico Family console.


You have been in the games industry for some time. And you have seen many trends come and go. From the beginning of your career to today: What has changed most positively in the industry, and what bothers you about the current situation?

The worrying trend is that games get more and more complex to make, bigger teams, more expense, less risk possible. Then Steve Jobs delivers the iPhone, and suddenly people are coding in their bedrooms again. Then games get more complex, and engineers start working on sweat simulation on the brow of the basketball player, then Minecraft comes out and completely resets the understanding of how vital photo-realistic graphics are. It’s fascinating as the industry format keeps changing dramatically, but the core “is it fun” is all that matters, and no matter how crazy things get, that remains the true north. VR, AR & Cloud Gaming, the changes will never stop, so it’s best to enjoy the roller-coaster ride and keep focused on fun.


Which key learnings in marketing can other industries draw from the games industry?

Most industries don’t understand the power of play. Play is defined as “not boredom”. Interestingly, so many businesses are quite happy to bore you to death. Have you ever seen a form that amused you? Is buying a car a fun process? I think just about every business can learn from the games industry. The definition of a game is “What’s the challenge?” They could learn from that too.


Who are your role models in the industry?

Wow, there are a lot of them. Almost not fair to start the list. It would be 50+ people that I think are rock stars. 

I was on the board of the game developers conference for ten years and the talent in the game industry continually impressed me, how friendly and open they were to share ideas. I remember seeing Peter Molyneux in a room and being stunned… It’s really him! There. 

So, what happens when you get to speak to someone like that? Nicest guy ever. Welcome to the video game industry!     


How did the marketing and promotion of games change in recent years? Where are we headed in games marketing in the next years to come?

I’m not a fan of the trend that there are fewer lead singers in the games industry. I loved the celebrity aspect and I think it’s good for the industry. Stan Lee (the creator of Spiderman) once asked me “Who is this guy?” when Kojima was surrounded by adoring fans. I feel the same way about Miyamoto. In movies, I love Spielberg, Peter Jackson, and James Cameron. Imagine books didn’t have an author on the cover, who would they interview on TV? The world is built for celebrity and the games industry could have many more rock stars. If I was Electronic Arts I’d be investing into being the place that those people want to work again. They used to have people like Will Wright, and he drew in so much talent.      


Which social media channels do you see as key for the games industry?

All social media channels should be playing games by now. We put FIFA soccer playable from the Cloud on YouTube nine years ago!!! Why has this not happened yet? Really! We put Crysis on Facebook nine years ago. We had World of Warcraft on the iPad nine years ago. Things are moving way too slow. Why has nobody pitched TikTok a social game so their users can play together? The room for invention and opportunity remains massive.   


About the current trend on creators and influencer marketing: The trend towards more micro and macro influencers with a smaller reach and less fans, but more authenticity and engagement: How can the Games industry leverage that trend in your opinion?

The biggest mistake with influencers is to think they are human billboards. They are often bigger brands than the game company trying to hire them! Their fans are fanatically loyal and know them intimately. The influencer can’t pretend to like a game, or play things that are clearly just putting $$$ in their pocket. The first trick is to get behind the influencers that are already big fans of your platform. The second trick is to ask yourself WHO follows this influencer. You’d be STUNNED to see how many times people hire a beautiful girl to sell bikinis when their audience is primarily male. They sell nothing. Trick #3 lets the content creator (influencer) do the creating, don’t tell them what to say and when to say it. They will love to work with your brand if you trust them.     


The media landscape has changed massively in the last ten years. However, PR is still one of the most important communications tools in the games sector. Where do you see PR in the next five years, what will the challenges be?

As I mentioned, if the industry becomes bland and there are almost no celebrities, I think PR will become a real problem. Who gives the keynote speeches at conferences? Who goes on the late-night talk shows? Who do you most want to interview on your streaming channel or podcast? Who do kids want autographs from? If you go to a Video Games Live concert, people will hang out for hours to get a Tommy Tallarico autograph, they LOVE connection to the industry they are so passionate about. So, I’m truly hoping that video game PR can get back to where it was 20 years ago. We need more video game TV shows too. 🙂


Bonus question: Which project / topic in your career are you particularly proud of?

The game I’m best known for is Earthworm Jim, it was the last game I programmed, so it’s a great memory. It’s the tip I give to all the young developers… make a funny game. There are enough shooters, it’s easier to stand out with something funny. Someday when I retire, I hope to make games again. That’s definitely when you are in the right job when you dream about doing it one day for free. 

Founders Keepers

All about Marketing in Games and Tech.

Treasures and Insights

from leaders in tech and gaming around the globe



Frank is a seasoned leader in the IT industry with over 30 years of retail, partner, solutions and cloud transformation experience in sales and marketing.




Heiko Klinge began his industry career in November 2000 as a trainee at GameStar. Today he is the editor-in-chief of the biggest PC gaming website in Germany.




Peter Stock is responsible for the strategic purchasing within the organization of Microsoft Deutschland GmbH as well as within the sub-areas in Austria and Switzerland. 


Fabian Mario


Fabian Mario Döhla is Head of Communication at CD PROJEKT RED, the studio behind The Witcher games and Cyberpunk 2077.




Tom McQuillin has been in gaming for most of his career, first at Xbox in product marketing and product strategy and now at Facebook.




David Miller has worked in and around the video games industry for over 25 years. He started out in marketing and currently acts as Head of Games for War Child.


Leya Jankowski

Leya Jankowski is editor-in-chief of MeinMMO, Germany’s leading multiplayer site. She is the person in charge of content and content strategy.


Philipp Walter

Philipp spent ten years in the sporting goods industry, five of those at adidas. Now Philipp is a founder himself and CEO of Gamers Academy.


Chris Van der Kuyl

Chris van der Kuyl is one of Scotland’s leading entrepreneurs working across various industries. His company 4J Studios brought Minecraft to consoles.


Ingo Horn

Ingo Horn is founder of Gaming-Aid e.V. and Letsplay4Charity e.V. as well as Communication Director Europe at Wargaming. He began his career as a local newspaper editor.


Funda Yakin

Funda Yakin has been working for agencies, publishers and on the industry side in marketing for nearly 20 years.


Michel Bonetti

Michel Bonetti is product manager at Orange and was active in countless sectors, keeping the business development as a constant point of interest.


Petra Fröhlich

Petra Fröhlich worked as editor-in-chief at PC Games for more than a decade until she eventually founded GamesWirtschaft, her very own news portal about video games.


Daniel Bollers

“Daniel is one of the most successful sales allrounders for consumer electronics. We’ve known each other for over 10 years now and his insights and teachings are always a true source of inspiration for me!”


Hendrik Lesser

„I know Hendrik not only as a games industry veteran, but also as a member of the global Entrepreneurs’ Organization to which we both belong. He has built a little empire comprised of game developers. I really appreciate his entrepreneurial spirit.”


David Clark

“David and I go way back to the good old times at SEGA. He played a fundamental role in shaping the games business in the UK and has a ton of experience in all areas of marketing. Currently, he is building bridges between Europe and Asia for games publishers.”


Thorsten Hamdorf

“I’ve known Thorsten for nearly twenty years and worked closely with him. He is a really knowledgeable marketing man.”


Wim Stocks

“Wim is a seasoned executive in the video games industry. I met him when we worked for Atari many moons ago. He is a renowned expert in the interactive entertainment industry.”


Tom Dusenberry

“Tom was my boss in the nineties when I worked at Hasbro. He founded the gaming division ‘Hasbro Interactive’ and made a bunch of bold and disruptive decisions. His vision was to become as large as Electronic Arts. Unfortunately, Hasbro sold the gaming division. I bet today it would have been as big as EA.”


Maxi Gräff

“I’ve been following Maxis career for some time now, ever since her time at IDG where she worked for GamePro and GameStar. She started playing around with YouTube early on, knows the video games industry inside out and is working for Microsoft since 2015. She’s an advocate for the industry and especially for equal rights. That’s amazing!”


Philipp Hartmann

“In the past six years, Phillipp set a lot of things in motion over at Microsoft. He didn’t just support the reconstruction of the brand and the transition of stationary commerce, he shaped it.”


Trip Hawkins

“There are very few super entrepreneurs who defined the video game industry from the start. While Nolan Bushnell shaped the hardware, the one and only Trip Hawkins defined the software. He is the founder of Electronic Arts! He made developers rockstars! No more words needed. His career speaks for itself.”


David Perry

Perry started in Northern Ireland working on the Sinclair ZX81 (early 1980’s), he moved to England from high school, ending up with a #1 hit for Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles. 


Caroline Miller

Founder and Managing Director at Indigo Pearl, an award-winning PR and asset management agency specializing in video games. Caroline founded Indigo Pearl in 2000 and prior to this worked in-house within the games industry. 


Boris Schneider-Johne

Boris Schneider-Johne, born in 1966, helped shape the early years of games culture in Germany. He is a true legend.


Volker Prott

Volker Prott, a man for marketing and media. After studying media economics, Volker first worked in the world of media agencies and then joined Electronic Arts (EA) in the media and marketing departments.




David started his career in computers at the age of 13 when he used his paper route savings to purchase an Apple II computer in 1978. He was a global leader and shaped EA and Atari, before becoming an investor in the most valuable Gaming companies on this planet.


Thomas Mey

My name is Thomas Mey. I have been earning my bread and butter in the trade since completing my apprenticeship as an electrician. That was a good 30 years ago.


Michel Wedler

Long-standing executive and expert in purchasing & product management and sales in retail for entertainment products, especially in the areas of music, film, games, consoles, accessories, merchandise, and toys. 




Oliver Menne started in the games industry at the end of the 80s, at the time of the Commodore 64. He runs Eurogamer in Germany today.


Hans Ippisch

Hans Ippisch’s professional career began in 1986, when he signed his first contract as a game developer at Rainbow Arts at the age of 16. Today, he heads up Intellivision Europe.


Mike Steup

Mike has 25 years of experience in management, sales & marketing, and product development. He is the king of peripherals and recently launched an amazing Kids tablet with Disney.

Read more!

Before you continue

We use cookies to improve site functionality and to provide you with a better browsing experience. Detailed information on the use of cookies on this site is provided in our privacy policy. You may decline consent or make specific choices by clicking "Show cookies"

Show Cookies