Known for co-founding Codemasters, with his brother Richard, David Darling has a long succession of top ten games spanning more than 30 years! Now founder and CEO of smartphone app developer and publisher Kwalee, David calls upon past experiences to give us his insight on how he retains his best talent…
“I left Codemasters in 2007 because I didn’t want to spend my entire life working in one company. Yet what I felt during my years in the gaming wilderness was a sense that I may have left gaming but gaming had definitely not left me. I hankered for a return to what is a vibrant, exciting and creative space. Dare I say it, but I’ve always found working in gaming to be absolutely brilliant.
I’m not one for looking back, though, and I like to keep my eye on the future. So when I was laying in bed one night, I began to think about the people who currently work at Kwalee. What else can they do? What other areas would they like to explore? How can we keep them motivated? I wanted to get to know our talent better to allow us to move forward together.
At Codemasters we had people who wanted to try new working experiences but they remained in their positions because they were good at what they did. To the surprise of our managers, they then left the company when fresh opportunities arose. We always hated to lose good people and I learned many lessons from that.
So I made sure Kwalee is different. We’ve been looking for a new Head of QA because our old one, Simon Platt, impressed us in areas that far outreached his job description. Simon would come up with brilliant suggestions about the games he was testing and we began to invite him into meetings, listening intently to his ideas and working on ways to incorporate them.
Could I keep him in his existing role? No way! I was thrilled to offer him a new job as a Producer of one of our games and my faith in him has been rewarded many times over. To see how he’s lifted the team and encouraged new ways of thinking is simply amazing.