Scott Olive, Founder of HRG Studios in Australia: Struck by Lightning
Struck by Lightning
Scott Olive is a Principal and Founder of HRG Studios in Australia, which makes games exclusively for Aristocrat Leisure. Scott started his career with Aristocrat in the late 90s and was instrumental in the company’s successful expansion into the United States gaming market by introducing low de-nom, high volatility video reel games. Scott’s games have been critical drivers in Aristocrat’s success over the last decade as the company has more than doubled its market share in the key North American market.
This episode discusses the following topics:
- Discussing Scott’s recent successes and Landon’s experiences with his games (7:00)
- How he became interested in the gaming industry (9:00)
- Scott’s family background at a gambling club in Sydney and educational background (11:00)
- Early career experiences and gaming experience as a player (13:00)
- Joining Aristocrat in the 1990s (14:00)
- “When I started working at Aristocrat, I think I was the only developer that had actually played the games. It was how I initially got the job. ” (15:00)
- Opportune timing to enter the industry during a transitional stage in gaming (16:00)
- The rise of progressive jackpot slot machines and Aristocrat’s developments (19:00)
- Where Scott would like to see slot machine development go in the near future (21:00)
- Recent game developments building on the success of Dragon Link and Buffalo Link (23:00)
- “The best land-based games are also the best digital games” (28:00)
- The origin story behind the creation of Lightning Link while taking an outdoor shower in Australia (29:00)
- How Scott conceptualizes games and his creative process (31:00)
- “If the game isn’t fun to us as developers, don’t put it out” (33:00)
- The role of sound effects in Aristocrat’s games and the famous buffalo voice (35:00)
- The return of nostalgic games in the gaming industry (39:00)
- Games that Scott plays or admires other than Aristocrat titles (41:00)
- The process of developing games for a global audience (43:00)
- Gambling stories (47:00)
“When I started working at Aristocrat, I think I was the only developer that had actually played the games. It was how I initially got the job. ”— Scott Olive
“The best land-based games are also the best digital games”
“If the game isn’t fun to us as developers, don’t put it out”
More about Scott Olive
Scott created the widely successful Hyperlink progressive jackpot system with several top-performing games, including Cash Express, Penny Train, Fa Fa Fa, and King of the Nile. Scott left Aristocrat in 2007 to Co-found True Blue Gaming, an independent game development studio, which was eventually sold to Aruze Gaming in 2009.
After True Blue Gaming was sold, Scott went on to found HRG Studios and shortly after signed an exclusive agreement to develop games for Aristocrat Leisure in 2012. In 2014, Scott and his studio introduced Lightning Link, one of the most successful game franchises in the history of the gaming industry and currently remains the industry’s top-grossing slot title. Scott followed that smash hit with several more top-earning games, including Dragon Link (2017), Dollar Storm (2019), and Buffalo Link (2021).
About MaxBet Media
Two gambling enthusiasts, with a passion for all things gambling. Whether pressing our luck in the high limit room, testing the money line in the sportsbook, or just making friendly wagers on the back nine… we love to gamble! Our careers in the gaming industry have shown us that this industry is filled with some amazing people, with even more amazing stories. Our goal is to help provide a platform for those stories to be shared, while also helping everyone look good in the process.
About Landon Michael Jones
Manager and Co-Founder
Landon’s fascination with the casino industry began when he was just 12 years old and ultimately landed him in Las Vegas, where he earned a degree in hospitality management from University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). For over a decade, Landon has been involved in various aspects of the gaming industry, including operations, management, and supply & distribution.
Landon’s tenacity and passion afforded him the opportunity to serve the gaming industry’s key players and regions throughout the United States. Landon enjoys collaborating with industry leaders to create the ultimate gaming experience for the end-user.
About Mike McKiski
Manager and Co-Founder
A seasoned gaming industry executive and expert in building, marketing, and monetizing gambling related technologies, Mike McKiski currently serves as President of MaxBet Media, Inc., the digital media upstart delivering an unfiltered, authentic, and at times irreverent look at the people who are driving the gambling industry forward.
As he was founding MaxBet Media, Inc., McKiski worked for PlayAGS, Inc. (NYSE: AGS) serving as the company’s Vice President of Sales, with revenue responsibility for the Western United States and all of Canada. Under McKiski’s leadership the revenue team doubled in size and grew revenues over 300%. He is a market transformation catalyst who has been at the forefront of launching mobile and social marketing products for hundreds of casino operators across the continent.
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