Building a strong culture for a gaming startup with Extra Dimension Games

Nov 2, 2023

Join us in today’s episode with Sean Wylie-Toal, the CEO and co-founder of Extra Dimension Games. Sean breaks down the right ways to build and lead a team in today’s industry and the importance of vulnerability, honesty, and culture.

Sean embarked on a unique path by teaching himself to code and joining a startup. This experience laid the foundation for his journey into game development, eventually culminating in the founding of Extra Dimension Games in 2017. Sean's engineering background provided him with a unique perspective as a CEO, allowing him to approach challenges with a blend of technical expertise and visionary leadership. Sean emphasizes the importance of trust, empowerment, and cohesive teams in driving success. He shares insights into his management philosophy, highlighting the value of creating an environment where team members feel empowered to make decisions and learn from mistakes. Sean's approach to leadership focuses on fostering a culture of continual growth and innovation, where individuals are encouraged to challenge ideas and drive progress. Sean shares his excitement about the future of the gaming industry, particularly the shift towards deeper and more meaningful gaming experiences. He envisions a landscape where games transcend mere entertainment and become powerful platforms for storytelling, social interaction, and personal growth.

About Sean Wylie-Toal:

Sean has over 20 years of experience in the gaming industry. He cofounded Bight Games in 2004 and served as their CTO until 2011. Bight Games was acquired by EA in 2011, where Sean worked as Group CTO until 2016. In 2017, Sean cofounded Extra Dimension Games and has served as the CEO ever since.

What you'll learn in this episode:

00:44 - Extra Dimension Games' new mobile game Starbrew Cafe

01:15 - Sean's start in the gaming industry

02:32 - What it's like being a CEO with a software engineering background and the biggest challenges that come along with it

04:37 - How can you enable your teams to do their best work and be happy

06:21 - The importance of openness and vulnerability as a CEO/leader

07:29 - How to navigate a strategic pivot while keeping your team intact

09:10 - How to stay at the forefront of the gaming industry

11:46 - The importance of escapism in mobile gaming

12:55 - Retrospective on Sean's biggest hit game "The Simpsons: Tapped Out"