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Creative Minds: Bill Roper

Article: Flagship's CEO on Blizzard, WoW and ventures new

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We tried to shoot holes in the idea to determine if it was a solid concept. When it stood up to this initial, brutal design review, we started talking about when and where the game would be set as well as more specific design concepts.

What did you set out to achieve when it was formed?

Roper: The single biggest goal of the company has always been to make the best game we can. We want to create games that are fun, easy to learn, and over-deliver in terms of content and quality. We want our employees to be well respected and know how valuable and appreciated their contributions are to our mutual success.

What input do you have in the creative processes at Flagship, and what's the company's creative philosophy?

Roper: Our creative philosophy is to keep our collective focus on what is best for the game. No matter who has an idea, we'll give it consideration. We encourage input on anything from everyone.

While you have to ensure that the right people reserve the right to make the final call, it honestly does help the process to have a lot of people looking at and playing the game, and then getting their ideas into the mix. We want Flagship Studios to be someplace where people want to work because of what we do and how we do it.

What would you pick out as your 'best game I've ever played' if you had to choose one, and why pick that?

Roper: Personally, I play almost everything. From PC to console to board games to cards, I play a lot of everything. As far as genres, I'll play sports, RPG, RTS, action, CCG, lots of German board games.

So, while this could be a tough question for me, some people are surprised by my answer. May favorite game of all time is Poker, and specifically Texas Hold'em. I love all of the aspects of poker and I play whenever I can find a good game.

To me, poker is perfect. It has a limited number of pieces / game board, a simple basic rule set that can be modified in hundreds of interesting ways, is a portable multiplayer experience, and has an incredible risk-to-reward ratio. It's also fun to watch and can be equally enjoyable whether playing competitively or just for fun.

Finally, what would you be doing if you weren't CEO of Flagship Studios?

Roper: Hopefully I would be pursuing my other great passion in life as a musician. I still sing and play in a band I started almost 14 years ago. If music was my total focus in life, I like to think that I would be as driven to be as successful as possible there as I have been in games.

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