A Talk with Aspyr President Michael Rogers

written by Russ Looney on October 20, 2011 in Classic Posts and Interviews

Michael Rogers in The Sims 2

As you may have heard, Aspyr Media recently launched a brand new website and is currently running an iPad 2 sweepstakes for those who wish to fully explore everything the new site has to offer.  All that’s required is to find five different photoshopped images of Aspyr President Michael Rogers.  And as Michael is the centerpiece for the site launch and contest, we thought we would sit down for a brief chat with Mr. Rogers to try and get some information on upcoming projects as well as some insight into Aspyr’s newly redesigned website.

Hi, Michael, thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Can you tell us about your role at Aspyr? 

Michael Rogers: I have the best job that I can imagine. I’m involved in everything we do with each of our hard-working teams … from finding games, playing games, creating games and supporting our customers who love games as much as we do. Of course, the business of games is still a business, so I am focused on our operations and the strategic direction of the company, but everything we do is about creating great products for our customers.

What was your vision when things got started?  How has that changed over the last 15 years?

MR: The vision for Aspyr was (and still is) to build a great company that delivers “fun” to people around the world. When we stared the company in 1996, my entire history of computing had been on the Mac, and when we saw that big companies were abandoning Apple during the mid-1990′s, it was great opportunity for a start-up to bring triple A products to Mac users like me.

Today, we are the largest Mac games publisher in the world. I think we’re also the best at what we do – from converting games natively to run on the Mac, to sales, service and more. Our promise to our customers is we will bring the best Mac games to them; our promise to our licensing partners is that we will make them more money, bring them more fans, and make their brands more valuable to a very important consumer segment.

The industry is wildly different place that it was 15 years ago. The definition of a “video game”, the accessibility of games, the users, the devices and the way games are bought and sold have all changed pretty dramatically. That games are so malleable and available is why this industry is so exciting.

One thing that hasn’t changed for us is that we put our customers first, always. In the old days, pretty much the only way we would hear from a customer was if they sent back the self-addressed registration card, or called or emailed us for support. Today, it’s much easier to get user feedback, and we take it seriously. We know we must make it even easier for our customers to give us feedback and have a relationship. It’s critical for us, and really to any company now.

Today, our vision is the same was it was in the beginning — to build a great game company that delivers fun to people around the world. The good news is, the planet is overflowing with people who want to play games. There’s never been a better time a company like Aspyr in the games industry.

 

What games are you playing these days?

MR: I have been playing two unannounced games coming to our line up soon. One is a huge title from one of the biggest names in gaming, and the other is a smaller iOS game we’ve created in house. Very different, but both very fun. We’re excited to get these games out soon. I’m also playing a lot of our older games that we’ve been able to re-release lately – Knights of the Old Republic, Civ V, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Great games!

 

What was the drive behind launching the new site design?

MR: We are trying to push all of the ways we reach customers to be easier for our customers. The new design is just the first step in a process that we hope will delight our customers. Finding, buying and playing games should be easier, and Aspyr is doing it’s part to keep it fun all the time. It’s also a great excuse to have a contest, so we’re doing that too!

 

What’s your take on mobile and tablet gaming? Tell us more about Aspyr’s mobile endeavors.

MR: Gaming is continuing its unrelenting growth throughout the world, and mobile/tablets just make it easier for people to play games, anytime, all the time. We are just at the tip of the growth in this market and brands, companies and kinds of games that have never existed before will touch millions of people. The leaders of the past will not be the leaders of the future of mobile/tablet games. It’s amazing.

Aspyr has been experimenting in the space. We’ve launched a few titles, and have one really great game in development now. It’s scheduled to be announced and released sometime in November, and we think customers are going to love it. We will keep pushing our development in this space in some new and interesting ways.

Aspyr has capabilities and access that no one else in the industry has and we’re working on ways to bring that to the mobile space. So, more great ideas and products are coming soon.

 

Is there anything else coming from Aspyr that we can get excited about?

MR: The games we have in our pipeline are some of the very best we’ve ever done. We are working hard, we’re incredibly proud of what we’re building and I think our customer are going to love it.

 

From Mac gamers everywhere, thanks again to Michael and everyone else that works hard at Aspyr.