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Five-Minute Interview with the Chiefs of Game Developers
—by Jade Dragon

Have you ever wondered about who the people are behind the games you love? What they look like? What they eat? Well, I came up with 5 questions for my five-minute interview with the leaders of popular game software companies. We will feature one Chief each week. And I've also got a photo of each Chief I've interviewed, so that you can see what they look like. As for what they eat, that's highly classified information.


 

AIM Productions logo

This week our special guest is all the way from Belgium. He was a Commodore 64 and Atari ST fan and worked as DJ before the tech age. Mr Stefan Calle, now the sole owner of AIM Productions, tells us how he got into the computer business and what’s on the bill from AIM in the next 6 months. In his constant search for success, with games like Done in 50 Seconds, Molecule, G-Pod and some exciting upcoming new games, Mr. Calle may have just found a very fertile ground.

Interview:
Jade Dragon: Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you built up AIM Productions.

Mr. Calle: I am 38 years old. I graduated in business science from Antwerp University-Belgium in 1988. Being a club DJ and heavy gamer (Commodore 64 and Atari ST at that time) I had 2 passions : music and computers and I wanted to make a living with one of those. At that time, my only career option was music, so I joined dance record label ARS, first as royalty manager and later as director of business affairs. With wordlwide #1 chart hits by Technotronic (cfr "Pump Up The Jam") the early nineties were very exciting years for me. I traveled a lot and met a lot of interesting people at the big record companies around the world. In 1994, multimedia computers and CD-Rom became popular and I saw an option there to switch to my second passion.

Together with my former boss, I founded AIM Productions as a developer and publisher of PC multimedia software. Our first releases were shareware game compilations but gradually I managed to build up funds to hire a good team quality programmers and graphicians to develop our own software. At the end of 1999, the PC market went down fast with huge sales and price drops. At that time, part of AIM Productions was already dedicated to cater to the industry (magazine cover CD-ROM, promotional give-away CDs...) but our consumer software department needed a new market fast. With Pocket PC we found that market last year, not as profitable as the PC market but growing, promising and full of good vibes. A few months ago I bought my partner's shares in AIM productions and the company is now owned by myself.

Jade Dragon: What is the mission of AIM Productions in 5 sentences?

Mr. Calle: Our mission is to build a big catalogue of quality entertainment software with a high 'fun-for-money' ratio and become one of the players on the PDA software market. We are currently also investigating porting our most popular game titles to other mobile devices and phones. We love the Pocket PC platform and its market and we hope that it will grow big enough to allow us to make that part of our business profitable.

Jade Dragon: What will be the exciting things coming out this year from AIM Productions?

Mr. Calle: Well, there's a lot in the pipeline for the next 6 months! Next month, we'll release "Oddyssey - Battle Of The Universe", an action shooter and "Strip Teaser" the first Pocket PC game with video. There's 3 more games coming in the Fall but the biggest title for this year is a huge strategy game called "Aliens War" to hit the market around Christmas. This game will be awesome! On the applications side, our about-to-be-released MagicSync seems to have generated interest from many mobile solutions providers and big hardware manufacturers.

Jade Dragon: What do you have to say to the AIM Productions' fans out there?

Mr. Calle: A big big THANK YOU for supporting our games, which enables us to continue our mission and bring you more exciting games in the next months and years. 18 months ago, when we first entered the Pocket PC market after being a PC developer/publisher for 6 years, we couldn't have imagined the support, the enthusiasm and the appreciation we would receive from its gaming scene! Thanks again and keep supporting us!

Jade Dragon: What is your number one favorite game and how often do you play games?

Mr. Calle: Unfortunately, I don't have much time for leisure gaming anymore with 3 kids in the house. A lot of games are played here in the office after-hours and occasionally I give it a go for a short time, mainly to get the feel of it and keep myself up-to-date with the market. The last game I enjoyed playing for several nights was Max Payne but my all time favourite game is still Duke Nukem 3D, we've played a lot of death matches on our office LAN a few years ago. A year ago we bought a real nice pinball machine to decorate the office and, whenever we want to get rid of some stress by the end of the day, we play pinball like hell!

 

 

 

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