Game Republic

Interview with Rob Hewson

Rob Hewson
Rob is CEO & Creative Director of Huey Games, a game development company specialising in delivering Smart Console Porting, co-development, design consulting and other development services in Unity and Unreal for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. Rob is a veteran game developer with extensive experience in Game Director, Lead Design and Project Management roles on titles such as LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens, LEGO Jurassic World, LEGO Batman 3, LEGO The Lord of the Rings, LEGO Legends of Chima, LEGO The Hobbit, Hydrophobia, Pool Nation, the World Snooker Championship series, Hyper Sentinel, Wreckout and Mechinus. Rob is a BAFTA member, columnist, conference speaker and mentor. At the end of 2023, Huey Games won Best Small Studio in the Game Republic 20th Anniversary Awards.

What is great about working in the games industry?


At its best, the games industry is creative, collaborative, friendly and exciting. I’ve met people who have joined from other, perhaps more cutthroat industries, and they are amazed at how companies who might compete in some areas, actively support and celebrate each other. Most people join this industry through passion for the medium, and since we are always evolving at the cutting edge of technology, we’re always breaking new ground together. It’s a dynamic melting pot of cool people, doing cool things. That being said, there is always more work to be done on improving things, especially for disadvantaged and underrepresented groups, and it is encouraging to see more people focusing on this in recent years.

What words of advice do you have for people starting out in the games sector?


There are so many different roles in the games industry, from the many different kinds of development and publishing roles, to events, legal, finance; so I always like to say that it doesn’t matter what you are good at, if you are passionate about games, there is a career for you in the industry. And there isn’t just one way to approach the industry, so my advice would be to heed the advice which works for you! For example, attending events and meeting people is a great way to get stuck in for many people, but if you are an introvert and the idea of this fills you with dread, you are definitely not alone, so don’t feel that is the only route. For development roles, developing a portfolio of your best work is a great idea.

What has your company been doing in the region to support the games industry?

Through our Huey Academy initiative, we have hosted dozens of amazing interns in partnership with with employ autism, with bootcamps for career changers and with universities such as Manchester Metropolitan and University of Salford. We’ve also engaged with mentoring programmes such as Limit Break. Many of the interns we have hosted have gone on to work for Huey Games, or other games studios, or into other media roles, so we are particularly proud of that.

What has been a highlight of your career so far for the industry?

It’s difficult to pick just one, so I will list a few! Reading the Star War: The Force Awaken script months before the movie hit the cinemas, going to Warner Bros. studios in Hollywood to watch the first cut of The Hobbit movie, followed by a tour of the studio, meeting 6-time world Snooker champion Steve Davis, visiting the LEGO factory after pitching our story and treatment for what became LEGO Legends of Chima and then receiving a wonderful email from the writer of the TV series who was stoked with the job we did, being on the Xbox stand at E3 and seeing behind the scenes at the Xbox HQ in Redmond. But above all, building our own studio and cultivating the incredible team we have at Huey Games continues to be the biggest highlight. It’s  literally a childhood dream come true!

What influence do you think your company  and similar types of organisation are having on region? world? Industry?

I hope that through our Huey Academy program, we are helping amazing young developers to get into the industry, and that we are working towards making Huey Games a better place for neurodiverse people. We are also focused on recruiting from all sorts of backgrounds and industries – so many of the bigger studios require X number of shipped games and Y years of experience, and miss out on the amazing external talent and perspectives which can enrich our industry. There are a lot of small studios, including numerous Game Republic members, who are doing amazing things and we admire and take inspiration from them.


What do you think of the role of Game Republic?

Game Republic brings everyone in the region together and provides fantastic opportunities for studios to connect and meet important people in the industry, as well as providing support for graduates, students and regional talent. So many of the events we attend throughout the year are hosted or supported by Game Republic, or discounts are available through Game Republic membership, so it really is the glue which binds together many of the business development opportunities throughout the year. I often meet people from other regions who envy what we have with Game Republic!

Why is the region a good place to do business?

Historically, the region has produced some of the greatest games and studios in the world, and there is a huge amount of talent here. We have fantastic initiatives and events, and its really easy to connect with people because we don’t have the friction of say London, where there is an awful lot of noise to cut through. It is vibrant, open, and there’s a rich tapestry of talent and history on tap.

What projects are coming up?

We’ve got some amazing co-dev and porting projects lined up for 2024 with our fantastic partners, and behind the scenes we are working on a unique roguelike title which we are super excited about. We’re just polishing up the demo, and we are about to begin pitching it, which is always an exciting time! We’ll be rolling out the latest version of our HueyCore tech, including new tools funded by our InnovateUK grant, and focusing on the next phase of growth for Huey. It’s going to be a busy year!