Sparked by a passion for video games that started over 30 years ago with The Bard’s Tale, veteran game maker Mark Dickenson is on to his next adventure with Capital Games™, the studio behind Star Wars™: Galaxy of Heroes.
We sat down with Mark to discuss why he joined Capital Games, the future of the studio and of course, his most beloved games.
Mark, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m an industry veteran and this is my second tour of duty with Electronic Arts. In fact, I was a part of the EA SPORTS™ team for almost seven years.
My most recent port of call was at Telltale Games where I led the development of Minecraft: Story Mode. After meeting the Capital Games team and discussing the role, it was the kind of once-in-a-lifetime opportunity I could not pass up.
It’s an incredible chance to work with a very talented team to expand Capital Games’ success to a new franchise. Outside of video games, my primary interests are food related: cooking, baking, breadmaking, and now exploring Sacramento’s amazing culinary scene.
What’s your new role at Capital Games?
I have joined Capital Games as Lead Producer with a focus on working closely with the team to identify, develop, and launch a new mobile game. I can’t get into the details of the new game yet, as we are still in the early stages of ideation and building the team.
What excites you most about joining Capital Games and EA?
There are multiple levels to this. For me, Electronic Arts’ focus on the player experience provides a very strong, personal motivation. I also have deep respect and confidence in the company’s senior and executive leaders, and the same goes with the studio’s General Manager John Salera and Capital Games’ leadership team.
When I interviewed at the studio, I was amazed with the talent, passion, and sheer will to win communicated by those on the interview panel. I'm very excited to learn from a team enjoying such strong success with Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes and feel privileged to be given the opportunity to work alongside such a talented group.
Also, after exploring Sacramento, I became very excited by the potential of living and working here. The studio is in the vibrant Midtown neighborhood. It offers the exact type of walk/live/work lifestyle I enjoy.
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes is a title that was made by Capital Games and has been tremendously successful. The bar has been set high, does this excite you or scare you?
Both—In my short time at Capital Games, the deep knowledge of the Free to Play space demonstrated by the team is somewhat humbling. But this also provides me with the incredible motivation of ensuring I’m doing the absolute best I can to contribute to Capital Games’ continued success. The studio’s history provides a great foundation for us to build from.
What can we expect from Capital Games in the future and what role will you play in the team?
My focus will be to partner with the Capital Games leadership to create a successful new mobile franchise. On the studio level, it’s about continuing to build on Capital Games’ current success while expanding the studio’s capabilities to launch and support a second mobile title.
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes continues to grow and has a long life ahead of it – to be clear, the new game I’m working on isn’t a replacement but a new, unrelated game. In fact, it’s the success of Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes that provides us the rare opportunity to build something completely new. And with Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes as the studio’s priority, its continued success affords us adequate time to develop a strong foundation for the new game.
What drives you?
I always know that no two days in game development are going to be the same because the landscape is ever changing. What’s exciting is that there are always new challenges to discover, successes to relish, and failures to learn from. Alongside that, I’m afforded the privilege of partnering with amazingly talented teams and individuals. These relationships provide the backbone of my experience as a game developer.
What excites you about the future of gaming?
I’m very excited by the potential of expanding what is a “game” and seeing our audience continue to evolve. If I look back at when I first started working in video game development, interactive entertainment has dramatically broadened its audience and has moved much closer to the center of the entertainment spectrum. I think we can expect many more changes in the years to come.
What are some of your favorite games to play?
On any given day, I might provide different answers to this, because there are so many.
The Bard’s Tale, one of EA’s earlier games, sparked my passion to forge a career in games development. I’m a big fan of sports games and enjoy god and building games and have a strong interest in narrative based interactive entertainment as well.
Most recently, I’ve played Stardew Valley, Inside, and I’m currently playing The Council. Over the last few months, I’ve also been an avid player of Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes, having reached Lvl 85, added R2D2, Jedi Training Rey, and Commander Luke Skywalker to my SWGOH team.
Next up on my playlist: A Way Out, Monster Hunter: World, and Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Interested in joining Capital Games? Check out jobs here.
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