Tech recruit

Tech role for GTA developer at Johnston Carmichael

Colin Macdonald worked on the top-selling GTA

Business advisory and accountancy firm Johnston Carmichael has recruited a former producer of the top-selling computer game Grand Theft Auto.

Colin Macdonald, who also had a role as Channel 4 Games Commissioner, has joined the firm’s Tech Advisory Board.

The board includes a number of Scotland’s senior tech players such as Polly Purvis, deputy chair of Converge and former chair of CodeClan, as well as Alisdair Gunn of Framewire, and Grant Smith, who is on the board of The Data Lab.

The addition of Mr Macdonald aims to benefit the company’s growing number of homegrown gaming, and wider tech clients.

He said: “This Tech Advisory Board will be really key in reaching out to the games and wider tech industry to help join the dots.

“We’ve already seen from the success of Grand Theft Auto that we can produce some of the best and most sought after games and we want to help play our part in supporting the industry as it seeks to produce the next big hit game.”

Shaun Millican and Colin Macdonald

Mr Macdonald was a producer of games such as Lemmings and Prince of Persia, and the early games of the global entertainment phenomenon Grand Theft Auto.  

He then co-founded Realtime Worlds where he helped raise over $100m in investment, and oversaw development of the multi-million selling BAFTA-winning game Crackdown, as well as online game All Points Bulletin.

He was appointed Channel 4’s first ever Television Games Commissioner, and commissioned dozens of games, which amassed millions of downloads and won BAFTA and Digital Emmy Awards.

He served nine years on the governing board of Abertay University, and is currently Head of indie publisher Indie Champions, commercial director to Rivet Games and an advisor to the UK Government’s UK Games Fund.

Shaun Millican, partner and head of technology and life sciences at Johnston Carmichael, said: “We’re extremely proud Colin has joined our Tech Advisory Board, and his huge experience in the gaming field will be a real boost to our clients across gaming and the wider tech sector.”

The games development sector is worth more than £300m in Scotland, supporting 6,400 jobs and comprising 11% of the UK’s developer headcount. It is also home to globally recognised brands like Rockstar and 4J Studios, and their franchises Grand Theft Auto and Minecraft.

Internationally, the gaming industry is now worth more than Hollywood and music industries combined.

Comment: Why Scotland comes up short in tech challenge



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