CSC News

January 29, 2015

Fidelity Investments Speakers Series Presents John O’Neill

(NOTE - new date!)  Please join us on March 17, 2015 at 6 pm in room 1231 in Engineering Building 2 for our second Spring 2015 talk in the Fidelity Investments “Leadership in Technology” Speakers Series.
Our special guest speaker will be John O’Neill, Founder and President of Spark Plug Games. His topic will be “Shall We Play a Game?
O’Neill founded Spark Plug Games, LLC, in Cary, North Carolina in January, 2008. He serves as the general manager and guides the studio’s focus in the development of video games and serious games on mobile, social, tablet, and console platforms. Prior to establishing the company, O’Neill was the director of business development for Vicious Cycle Software and responsible for the cutting-edge middleware solution, the Vicious Engine. He was responsible for managing the Vicious Engine brand and built strategic relationships between developers and publishers alike. He also drove the internal focus for the Vicious Engine technology as it applied to client needs, negotiated contracts and license sales, and directed marketing and public relations engagements.
O’Neill began his games industry career at MicroProse in 1994, as a programmer on a variety of cross-platform projects and ultimately built business and vendor relationships with industry leaders and hardware vendors. Working internationally, he successfully established and managed the EMEA consulting branch for InstallShield Software, Ltd., and built client relationships around the world, which included many in the Fortune 500. Along with his extensive gaming industry and professional consulting experience, he also brings his academic training in computer science with a Bachelor of Science degree from NC State University.
Abstract: Making games for a living is hard, and there's nothing plain and simple about trying to run a business dedicated to 'igniting' fun. It's a career that I have been doing for nearly 20 years, and in many ways, it chose me rather than making a rational decision to pursue it professionally. In 2008 I created Spark Plug Games at the worse possible time -- economically speaking -- with an unknown industry future and fast changing consumer focus. Through rigorous partnerships, an undying stubbornness, and a passion for wanting to have fun for a living, we've built a company with more than our share of blood, sweat, tears, and games.
The event is free and open to the public.  Ample free parking is available on Centennial Campus after 5 pm.  For directions and more information, click here.

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