Ben Cousins has left his role as head of DeNA’s free-to-play studio Scattered Entertainment to become a freelance F2P consultant. He’s now explained his decision in a new interview.
Speaking with GI.Biz, Cousins said, “People have been asking me to help them out forever. I’ve got lots of friends in the industry, having been around for 15 years – it was always frustrating to turn down offers to be on advisory boards or management boards, to be worried that I was breaking non-compete arrangements when I spoke to people. I wanted to spend some time exploring this idea of consultancy, freeing myself up to help out those people.
“When we set up Scattered with DeNA it was very much built around the idea of exploring three specific products: shooters aimed at different demographics. The Drowning was our mid-core game, Lawless was our casual game and Isolani was our core game. We’d gone through that first [period] of exploration and my co-founder, Senta Jakobsen, is so strong at running the team that this seemed like a good break point to move on and let those guys move into a new strategic phase.”
Cousins added that his departure doesn’t spell the end for DeNA, countering that he believes it to be one of the west’s top five mobile publishers.
“Generally they work multiple products across multiple platforms, so they don’t necessarily get the headlines,” he explained, “if you get one or two big hits then it’s very obvious that you’re being successful, but if it’s spread across ten or so games then it’s less clear that you’re doing that well.”
On the future, he added, “I’m sure some of the work I’ll end up doing will be working directly on games and there’s always the possibility of me setting up another studio or going into another role like that.
“This consultancy thing is very much feeling my way and finding out what’s out there. I don’t want to ever get to the point where I’ve just got a Power Point and I’m jumping from one studio to another doing one-day presentations, teaching them ‘how to do free-to-play’. I don’t think that’s possible. I want to forge deeper relationships with clients and work very much on a problem-solving basis.”