CEO of Iron Galaxy
Adam Boyes started his career in the video game industry as a QA tester for Electronic Arts working on games such as Doom and NBA Live. He put in many years doing QA work before taking a job as an assistant producer at Next Level Games. Over several years he continued to move up the ranks, holding various positions at Beefy Media, Midway and Capcom. All of this experience helped him to eventually land the job where he would leave his biggest mark, as VP of 3rd Party Relations at PlayStation.
At PlayStation, Adam helped to bring titles such as Shenmue, Yakuza and the Final Fantasy VII remake to the PlayStation 4 and was a champion for the indie game community. He became one of the most public faces of the PlayStation brand, including appearing in the infamous E3 video with Shu Yushida explaining how to “share” games on your PS4. In 2016 he decided he wanted to once again focus on the creation of video games and left Sony to became CEO of the Chicago based studio, Iron Galaxy.
What is the first video game that you remember playing?
“Pong on my parent’s pong machine. I discovered it young, and shortly thereafter had a TRS 80 in the house that I would program and play games on. Back then you had to save your programs on audio tapes, and bought tape games to play. I remember playing a game called ‘Bedlam’ for the TRS 80 that was a text adventure and was CRAZY HARD. Early on, my brother and I also started a Bulletin Board Service and so we played ‘online’ text adventure games like Barren Realms Elite and Legend of the Red Dragon.”
What are your favorite games of all time?
“My favorite game of all time is Ultima 7 – I think we can point to that game as the Grandfather of open world games. It was able to capture my imagination while having an incredible amount of things to do in the world. It also had some great exploits, like when I leveled up Sherry the mouse to be able to dual-wield Halberd axes. Lord British (aka Richard Garriott) is such an inspiration to me and the worlds he has created have always had a huge impact on me.”
Which hobbies or pastimes do you enjoy besides gaming?
“Cooking has always been a passion of mine, and so I love firing up the smoker or sous vide-ing a dish here or there. Since I grew up in a farm town in Canada, I also grew up loving camping. The last hobby may sound kind of cheesy, but I consider ‘Learning’ a hobby – whether it’s downloading plans for a go-kart to build, learning how to solder, taking guitar lessons with my son, I love learning new things with my kids.”
Do you and your children play video games together?
“Absolutely! Mostly on the Switch, but we have played PS4 games, PC games, mobile games together as well. The kids were late adopters to gaming, which is surprising since their dad is in the industry. I love playing games where there are puzzles or collaboration – We tend to stay away from competitive games where we play against each other. We don’t play Mario Kart anymore for that reason – they don’t like the idea at this age of winners and losers, so games like Minecraft, Lego World, and Stardew Valley are more our jam. We played a ton of Zelda together – the rule was that I could take it on the road and conquer shrines, but all aspects of the story mode were reserved for Saturday mornings together. It’s been an incredible experience playing through the game with them!”
How do you make time for gaming with a busy family life and career?
“I play ‘safe’ games with them during the day, and then most of my gaming is at night. They are in bed around 8pm, so from 9-12 is perfect gaming time. With the Nintendo Switch, flights are now AMAZING for gaming. I used to try playing on laptops, but the batteries always died too quickly. The PS Vita was great for travel as well, and the Switch is a great evolution of the handheld experience. Especially excited to dive into Skyrim for Switch when that comes out!”
What is your proudest moment as a parent?
“What an awesome question! I think instead of just one there are highlights – any time you can pivot something that isn’t fun into something fun and exciting. Early on the kids had a hard time brushing their teeth so I started the ‘BRUSH OLYMPICS’ where I would start a 2 minute timer, and live commentate their brushing, telling them to brush more down below, now roof of your mouth, etc. They would do an amazing job at brushing their teeth, and at the end I would announce the highlights from each kid’s technique, and then give the first kid a score… and then give the second kid the exact same score. Nobody ever won or lost, so their was never hard feelings but damn then brushed the crap out of their teeth. Those moments when you connect with your kids on a deep level – those are my proudest moments.”
Make sure to follow Adam on Twitter at @amboyes and his studio Iron Galaxy at @ItotheG