Three old dogs talk lessons learned and new tricks

Date: Saturday 2nd September

Time: 1:55pm

Rob Walsh, CEO of Krome Studios (, and Shainiel Deo, CEO of Halfbrick (, and Mario Wynands, CEO of PikPok ( All established their studios at the same time, worked together on various occasions, became friends, and have all had different paths and outcomes with our companies and careers, which has included success, failures, redundancies, near bankruptcy, and establishing globally loved franchises.

The panel is presented in a “fireside chat” format with a number of prompted questions designed to dig into the challenges of establishing, growing, and maintaining a successful studio in an environment of constant technical, economic, and cultural change. The content is anticipated to provide some brutally honest, sometimes humbling, sometimes amusing, insight, anecdotes, and lessons that will help the audience reflect and consider their own aspirations, path, and strategy.

About the speakers

Shainiel Deo is the CEO of Halfbrick. Founded in 2001, Halfbrick has been on the forefront of the Australian game development industry for many years. From humble beginnings developing licensed titles for platforms such as GBA, DS and PSP, they have expanded our portfolio with a range of hugely successful, independently released games on multiple platforms. With the success of Fruit Ninja on iPhone and iPad, Halfbrick has catapulted to become one of the most well known indie developers in the world, proving that a little dev down under has the world class skills needed to make a big splash on the global market.

Rob Walsh (“Walshy”) is CEO of Krome Studios, a professional game development studio based in Brisbane, Australia. Founded in 1999, it has shipped over 45 titles with partners and publishers worldwide including Disney Interactive Inc., Microsoft™, LucasArts™, Activision®, Electronic Arts™, Vivendi Universal and Konami® Digital Entertainment, and created the massive original franchise hit Ty The Tasmanian Tiger. Flying all around the world to talk to clients and other game developers, Walshy’s racked up so many frequent flyer points that it’s clocked back over to 0. Walshy steers Krome through the waters of game development and makes business deals, but you can also contact him by joining various different guilds in various different MMOs.

Mario Wynands is the CEO and co-founder of PikPok, a leading publisher of video games for mobile, desktop, and console based in Aotearoa New Zealand. Since 1997 he has led the studio in building a successful games portfolio that includes the critically and commercially successful Rival Stars® Horse Racing, Into the Dead® and Into the Dead 2, Super Monsters Ate My Condo™, Shatter® and more, which have been recognized with BAFTA and DICE Award nominations, as well as included on App Store and Google Play best of year lists. Wynands is a graduate of Victoria University in Wellington with degrees in business management and computer science.