Johnny Be good

XBox: The Official Magazine - - THE ARTFUL ESCAPE -

When we met Johnny Gal­va­tron at a se­cluded meet­ing room away from the bus­tle and clam­our of this year’s E3 con­ven­tion, we be­gan by ask­ing what his role on the project was. His re­sponse seemed to say a lot about the kind of stu­dio he runs and the kind of game he’s pro­duc­ing. “I have to make up a job ti­tle – can you help me?” Gal­va­tron be­gan. “I’ve never thought about it. Cre­ative lead? Cre­ative di­rec­tor?”

Part of that un­cer­tainty stems from a rock-an­droll ec­cen­tric­ity, but it’s also partly down to the fact that Gal­va­tron isn’t an old in­dus­try vet­eran with decades of ex­pe­ri­ence at EA or Ac­tivi­sion. In fact, Johnny’s a rock star who’s never made a game be­fore in his life. As such, he does some things a bit dif­fer­ently to most cre­ative di­rec­tors at game stu­dios.

“I was in a rock and roll band for a long time, and we toured the world for four or five years. And I hated tour­ing. I re­ally, re­ally hated it. I was not cut out for it. It’s just too much par­ty­ing – too many loose sit­u­a­tions. And I’m a bit of a home­body,” Johnny ex­plains. We’ll ad­mit that, based on his stud­ded jacket and lux­u­ri­ous flow­ing hair, this in­for­ma­tion comes as a bit of a sur­prise to us, but we roll with it.

“I ac­tu­ally stud­ied game de­vel­op­ment at uni, but we got our record deal about a week af­ter I grad­u­ated, so I never did it – I didn’t come home for five years. So I did that and when I came back I thought, ‘I never want to leave the house again.’ But I still wanted to be re­ally cre­ative and I still wanted to use what I’d learnt about mu­sic… and The Artful Es­cape is what that turned into.”

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