CEO, Sledgehammer Games
Rising Star Award
Given to a recent graduate who exhibits extraordinary professional achievements and contributions to the community.
Truth be told, if Glen Schofield (MBA 02) had known the video games he was designing would eventually gross more than $3 billion, maybe he wouldn’t have gone back to school at GGU to supplement the bachelor of fine arts degree he had received from Pratt Institute.
“The video game business in 1990 was a small industry,” Schofield said. “I moved to Crystal Dynamics in 1996 and it wasn’t long before they were talking about me running the place. I figured I’d need an MBA. When video games grew from a cottage industry to a very big business, the education and degree really helped me.”
Schofield got a boost from Electronic Arts when he moved to the Redwood City gaming giant before he had completed that MBA. “They were very supportive and encouraged me to finish it,” Schofield said.
While there, his game, Dead Space, won Best Action Game from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences in 2009. “Then I went to Activision, where my business partner and I built a studio, Sledgehammer Games, from scratch,” Schofield said. “Next up was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 — and within three years we made the biggest game of them all.”
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, co-directed by Schofield, set all sorts of entertainment records by grossing more than $1 billion in only 16 days; it also won “Best Action Game” for 2011, and Schofield today is CEO of Sledgehammer Games, the Activision Blizzard studio he co-founded in Foster City in 2009.
“Golden Gate got us used to speaking in front of people, constantly practicing and giving reports and critiquing, and now that’s what I do — talk to the press, appear on TV,” Schofield said. “And I’m comfortable with that.
“The other thing: I went from running art teams to running a business that makes $200 to $300 million or more. Our last game made more than $1.5 billion. So budgets, scheduling and all of the business education really helped me. Having both creative and business degrees in the video game industry is the perfect match.”
With success, Schofield is now able to concentrate on his first love, art. He’s returning to the creative side of the business. But, he said, “I am still the CEO and, with my business partner, make the big decisions. It’s good to know that nobody can pull the wool over my eyes.”
Schofield’s work appears at www.ArtBySchofield.com and www.Sledgehammergames.com.