At Schell Games, Culture is the Antidote to Crunch and Conflict

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CEO Jesse Schell formed Schell Games in 2004 with the help of four colleagues and, 15 years later, they are all still at the studio. Jesse Schell, VP of Art Reagan Heller, Principal Design Manager Shawn Patton, Principal Engineer Jason Pratt, and Senior Engi­neering Manager Robert Gordon were inter­viewed by Gamesindustry.biz to express their thoughts on stability, team-building, and open commu­ni­ca­tion.

The author noted that in an industry known for volatility, Schell Games leans toward its work-for-hire roots which maintain stability for the studio. This, in turn, means that Schell Games has never laid off an employee and can keep teams together. The exec­u­tives focus on main­taining a culture based on teamwork and feedback to avoid crunch and office conflict.

Over time, a thing I’ve seen in so many people that I manage is that the thing that’s most important for them over time is the people they work with. Initially, they’re really excited about the product they’re working on, but over time people come to see the value of the people they work with, the day-to-day inter­ac­tions they have with those they enjoy being around. And that seems to be a corner­stone that we build around at Schell Games.”