The Formation Games Studio team has tripled in size over the last 12 months. This is the first in a series of pieces where we’ll get to know some of our growing team a little better.
First in the hot seat is our Executive Producer, Neil Dejyothin.
Can you start by telling us when you joined Formation Games and what you were doing before?
I joined back in September 2022, so I’m approaching 11 months at FG and it’s been such a blast! 😀
I’ve been working in games for more than two decades and spent the last 5 years before FG at Sony PlayStation, both in their global tech division that supports all of their studios around the world, as well as at one of their lovely studios, called Media Molecule.
I also spent more than 14 years working on the Football Manager franchise for SEGA’s Sports Interactive studio and had stints at EA on the FIFA Manager franchise, as well as several other football games at the start of my career. I actually broke into the games industry by creating my own online role-playing football management game in my teens, called Soccer All Stars.
Can you tell us a bit about your role as Executive Producer?
I’ve spent the first year focused on building a world-class studio, as well as setting up the foundations to ensure we create and deliver a best-in-class product in CLUB. I oversee and run the studio and product leadership teams at FG, but as in any start-up early in its lifecycle, you get involved in just about everything!
My main priority is creating a working environment that people love being a part of. We want it to be challenging but fun, where folks feel a sense of belonging, are proud to represent, and enjoy coming to work to perform at their best. I want to set the expectation that you must have a great time at work and believe those ingredients lead to making special products.
Let’s talk games! What’s the first football game you can remember playing?
That’s a real tough one! I played almost every football game I could get my hands on when I was a kid, and it would have been one of the many football games available on the Spectrum. When I was around 5 or 6 years old, I played a lot of World Soccer League and Kenny Dalglish’s Soccer Manager, and recall other titles like Football Director, Footballer of the Year, Manchester United — The Official Computer Game, Soccer Rivals (kinda like a board game) and more!
I grew up on all of these games, but Sensible World of Soccer (SWOS) and Championship Manager 97/98 and CM3, and International Superstar Soccer (ISS 64) were really stand-out games in their era at the time, and I loved and poured many hours into those too.
Do you have a favourite football team?
I’m born and bred in Shepherds Bush, London and a QPR fan as a result.
Your happiest football memory?
The first World Cup I can remember was Italia ’90 and I loved the vibe and remember sitting on the living room floor watching matches back-to-back with my Dad. I was so obsessed with football and was used to the regular season cadence of weekly matches, and remember my excitement at realising there were several live matches on in a row. Watching England through the tournament and the rise of Gazza was amazing too.
Stuart Pearce’s penalty against Spain in Euro ’96 was also memorable (scary, brave and such relief and elation after he belted it in!), as were our wins against Scotland and Holland.
I also was in Péle’s company briefly and that was like staring at football itself in the flesh!
But another happy memory would be my time coaching the QPR Women’s team, who went on to win the title and promotion to the Premier League in my 2 years there. That was pretty special. ❤️
What excites you most about CLUB?
Two things. First, it feels like we’re ready for the dawn of a new era and have been for a while, and I think CLUB will bring something fresh, fun and unique, and importantly something relevant to the table, which is really exciting.
And secondly, to do that, you need to have a strong vision and a great team to deliver on that vision. We have both of those. We’ve put together an incredible team here at Formation Games and fostered a terrific culture at the studio where we’re excited to see and work with each other every day, pushing boundaries as we seek to innovate and create something that truly inspires.
Last question, would you rather fight one horse-sized duck, or 100 duck-sized horses?
100 duck-sized horses! I’ll swiftly deal with one of ’em and know the rest won’t bother! 😂