This is our regular series that pulls back the curtain on some of the members of the Formation Games team.
This month, it’s our Content Manager, Joe Lightfoot.
Can you start by telling us when you joined Formation Games and what you were doing before?
It’s pretty much exactly three years to the day when I joined the team — the first week of September 2020. I joined straight from university after graduating during COVID, after having a bit of time to enjoy my summer first.
I studied football journalism at Derby University, which was the only course of its kind in the country. Graduating just when football had stopped due to COVID was difficult and the job market was tough. Then one day I was scrolling through Twitter and I saw a job advert that said ‘are you interested in social media, like football, and class yourself as a creative mind?’ And the rest is history!
Can you tell us a bit about your role as Content Manager?
My job has evolved in the time I’ve been here but, like it sounds, my role is to manage the content we produce particularly, but not exclusively, our social media.
Social media was the first thing I took on but my role now is much broader — managing our apprentice, partnerships, as well as influencer marketing and liaison, and other behind-the-scenes work. I used to say ‘I make TikToks for a living’ but it’s become a lot more than that and, although I did enjoy that, there are better people doing that for us now!
Let’s talk games! What’s the first football game you can remember playing?
The first I can remember would be FIFA 2004. It had the wonderful soundtrack of The Jam, Fools Gold etc and my brother and I would just sit for hours and play each other constantly on the GameCube in my mum’s bedroom.
I put hours into that but my favourite football game was probably FIFA 13 or Super Mario Strikers. I’m a big fan of the Nintendo games. Super Mario Strikers has absolutely nothing to do with realistic football but it’s such a great game. 😀
Do you have a favourite football team?
Unfortunately, I’m a long-suffering Derby County fan! I started going to County in the season after we got promoted in the playoffs at Wembley — also known as ‘the 11-point season’. It was a rude awakening for any football fan, watching with my dad as we got battered every week in the Premier League. We got one win in the whole season.
Since then, we’ve lost two Championship playoff finals, been relegated to League One, lost several playoff semi-finals and seen no promotions.
My second team is Hearts in Scotland, who I follow because of my Scottish granddad.
Your happiest football memory?
When we played Leeds, in the playoff semi-final, beating them at Elland Road to get through to the final (which of course we lost). The whole Bielsa ‘Spygate’ thing, their fans goading us before the match and then we blitzed them 4–2. Beating them that night was one of the best nights of my young life.
It’s weird saying Frank Lampard gave me my happiest football memory but it’s true and it was the greatest game of football I’ve ever watched.
What excites you most about CLUB?
I have this vision that one day I’m going to be sitting in a restaurant, walking down a train, or somewhere else and I’ll catch someone on their phone playing CLUB. I’ll see them enjoying something that I’ve been involved in from the start. Seeing people talk about their CLUB score with their friends in public is something I really look forward to in the future.
What excites me most about CLUB is I really feel that this will be the most enjoyable football game out there. That’s what we keep taking it back to — bringing the fun back into football games. I think a lot of other games have lost that spark along the way and what excites me is we’re bringing that spark back. 🔥
Last question… if you could have a superpower, what would you choose?
Oh I hate this question!
I’m a practical thinker so I’m going to go with what I think would be most useful: to be able to teleport. Close your eyes, snap your fingers and you can teleport to anywhere you want in the world.
It would obviously be important that anything I touch is also teleported so I don’t accidentally end up naked and so I can take my partner with me. We could head off to a beach in Hawaii on a Tuesday night and be back for work on Wednesday and no one would know…