Question Time: Sam Mayo From Firemonkeys

Question Time: Sam Mayo From Firemonkeys

Welcome to Question Time, where we invite folks from the Australian games industry to answer your questions. For the next hour, until 12 midday, Sam Mayo, Community Manager at Firemonkeys, will be answering your questions! Drop them in the comments below!

BIO: Sam Mayo is the Community Manager at Firemonkeys, Australia’s largest game development studio. He works on marketing/PR initiatives for the studio’s titles, and he’s the man in charge of the social channels for all Firemonkeys games (which include The Sims FreePlay and Real Racing). If you ever tweet @TheFiremonkeys or comment on their forums/Facebook pages/YouTube videos, he’ll be there.

Before the merging of Firemint and IronMonkey into Firemonkeys, he had been managing the Firemint community for several years. He’s also had extensive development experience in QA and production, working on puzzle-RPG hybrids at Infinite Interactive.

Sam’s pile of shame is a great source of embarrassment, but he remains hopeful of one day conquering it. Partially.

Alright guys and girls — fire away!


  • Hey all! Thanks for this opportunity Mark, you rock.
    If anyone wants to reach out after 12 today, feel free to hit me up on Twitter at @TheFiremonkeys.

    • I went to a support group at the local community centre called “Reach Out”. It was here I learnt that having fun is not fun, and you should never smoke cigarettes or look for answers in the perils of illicit substances and the kind of contraband that can — in no uncertain terms — really get the party started.

      They made me go. . . They made me go because I crashed my stupid car into one of them stupid power poles some idiot put right there on the side of the road. Just like that. I’m not even kidding you. A power pole. Really? The side of the road? And, I mean, in my headlights, the telegraph pole, it was alluring like mermaids and detours into deepest unknown. I wish you could’ve been there, Sam. Oh, how we would’ve laughed at the folly of it all.

      What happened after my car crashed into the power pole? I’m glad you asked, Sam. I’m glad. You’re the last of the good ones, Sam; that’s what I think. I could’ve been killed! And it was like nobody even cared, Sam, it was like nobody even cared.

      The judge was oblivious to my plight and, before I knew it, I was the bad guy. I was the danger. I was the one who knocks. Good grief, Sam. Sometimes the world moves in mysterious ways. Good grief.

      The people at at the community centre said, “You’re not allowed to see your friends anymore” or do all the fantastical things you can imagine about in waking dreams and that quiet, unbroken terror that lives between the precipice of human limitations and doorways into the spatially impossible. And then they were all, “Meh, Meh, Meh, Meh!” I don’t know, I wasn’t listening, if you really want to know the truth.

      Do you believe in time travel, Sam? I’ve seen certain things that make me believe in timelines of a more . . . tangent persuasion. Dangerous timelines that promise no return for travellers lost unto a wilderness that whisper secrets in words of torment to mountaineers and explorers of far away places. Like visions. Do you believe in visions, Sam?

      Only last night, there were flashing lights at the old Holcomb Estate. I went there to see for myself, and I saw things — bad things — like paintings painted in colours of terror and torment. The burning red sky shining brightly lit behind shadows of a flickering and fiery auto-wreck that remind you every day of places that breathe to life only now in nightmares and the rattling voices you hear inside the solitude of all things. Everybody gets exactly what they want, Sam. But there are no words for what has become of me.

      In the end, I lost all my friends because the community centre told me to. It’s not all bad. I found Jesus. Then I lost him again. And then I found him. And then I lost him again. It’s like Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote up in here, I’m not even kidding. I mean If I catch him . . . then I’m going to be a pretty big deal. I’m going to be the guy who caught Jesus. That’s the kind of deal that lets you travel the world, Sam.

      Anyway, you seem like a nice chap, let’s be friends.

      P.S. — I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

      Yours truly,

      Milford Earle.

  • How are you able to take advantage of being part of a large corp? Do you share technology with other EA Studios?

    • We have access to a wide variety of amazing tech and people by being a part of EA. We share ideas, best practices, all sorts of cool stuff.

  • Hi Sam,

    How frequent are roles available in games development not specifically related to the game development (project management, business development, etc…). Do these roles exist in smaller studios, or are they exclusive to the giants (EA, BlizzardActivision, etc..)?


    • From personal experience yes, management and biz dev roles are available in smaller studios – you kind of need guys like this around, especially if you’re self publishing.
      We always had our own marketing team at Firemint, and have an even larger one now at Firemonkeys/EA.

  • Hey Sam, any plans to grow the studio to develop AAA next gen eventually or are you guys happy with the portable scene? (To be honst, that’s starting to look AAA next gen-like anyways.) Was the Fire Mint/Iron Monkey merger a logistical nightmare? 😛

    • I have no childhood memories that were awkward, I was a PERFECT child… Yeah okay let’s not get in to that here 🙂

      How about a nice story instead?

      One Christmas in the late 80s Santa gave me an Intellivision. I loved the console with its weird phone controller, and I was a massive BurgerTime addict. Turns out, my mum was too – and she kicked my butt every time we played. I didn’t care, I still had a blast. My mum rocks.

  • Why is iOS the preferred mobile platform for games? Does the “walled garden” provide a better framework for developing games?

  • Do you play co-op games in the office and if so are the teams still drawn along firemint v ironmonkey lines or are there different differentiations used now.

  • Hey Sam,
    Are you guys excited about the Real Racing series number 3 and will we see this in the App Store soon?
    What rough price range we we be looking at?

    • Real Racing 3 is already massive for us, we’re very excited about it. I’ve been working on the series for a while now and it is remarkable to see how far it has come.

      It’ll launch later this year – that’s all I can say for now sorry!

  • No disrespect to the big publishers who still support Aussie Devs, but do you think the Aussie gamedev industry would benefit from some Australian-based publishers?
    And do you think such a thing is even possible?

  • Hey guys, I’ve got to run.
    Looks like a few of these questions took a while to come through the approval system so I’ve missed them, very sorry! Drop me any further Qs on Twitter if you’re keen: @TheFiremonkeys or @POWERMAYO

  • Hi Sam,
    You may not be able to answer as not many people are interested but as a 3rd year law student is there opportunity for law work specifically focused in Australian gaming (patents, etc) or do companies such as yours look for more general advocates? Just from your experience 😉 love it if you could help, cheers

  • Hi Sam,
    You may not be able to answer as not many people are interested but as a 3rd year law student is there opportunity for law work specifically focused in Australian gaming (patents, etc) or do companies such as yours look for more general advocates? Just from your experience 😉 love it if you could help, cheers

  • I cannot get an explanation why I have been suspended from RR3. I have tried all support avenues, no results. Help!

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