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Barry Meade

Co-Founder, Business Director
Fireproof Studios


TALKS HELD

Making ‘The Room’ & The Lost Business of Art


barry-meade

Barry Meade’s career started in Dublin, Ireland in 1992 working on health related ‘edutainment’ titles for SNES, AMIGA and PC. In early 1994 he moved to the UK to join Bullfrog Productions Ltd, where he spent his time as a lead designer and artist/animator on titles such as Magic Carpet 1 & 2, Syndicate Wars, Dungeon Keeper and many others. Over the next ten years Barry worked for various studios as a game designer (Acclaim Teeside, Negative Productions, Mucky Foot) before rebooting his career in 2003 to become an artist once again. He was hired as a character artist by Criterion Studios in 2004 working on BLACK and subsequently Burnouts 3, 4 and Paradise. In 2008 Barry and five friends left Criterion to form Fireproof Studios, an award-winning outsource studio. Fireproof released its first game, The Room, on iPad in September 2012 and by 2016 the series has sold 17m copies.


While many new indie developers dream of hitting the big time, Fireproof Studios went the other way – at first. As a team forged in the white heat of a triple-A games studio working on the Burnout series for Criterion Games, the founders of Fireproof quit and turned themselves into an outsourcing start-up, specialising in design and artwork. All this was to fund their dream of making a game, and eventually in 2012 they scraped together a $90k budget to hire a programmer and did just that. That game was The Room. Released with no PR or marketing budget and no publisher or VC to back them, The Room achieved millions in sales and rave reviews, as well as winning Apple’s Game of the Year 2012 award.