MCV Pacific Women In Games: Vee Pendergrast

Joel Van Daal
MCV Pacific Women In Games:  Vee Pendergrast

The Stirfire Studios founder has fast made a name for herself on Australia's west coast.

Vee founded Stir Fire Studios as a side business in 2010. After working at Brightstar from 2010 through September last year, Vee landed seed capital for Stirfire in June 2016 and since then has raised over $520,000 to grow the company, giving her the opportunity to work at the Studio full time. Further growth is already on the horizon as Vee told us, "I am in the final stages of completing an ASX/ASIC compliant prospectus and we will be submitting this in the next few weeks. If all goes according to plan, we will be the second game company to list on the ASX (that we know of), targeting a market capitalisation of $5-$7-million."

Stir Fire originally released Freedom Fall in June 2013, becoming the first West Australian title on Steam in 2014.

The past twelve months have been a whirlwind for Vee, taking their game, Symphony of the Machine, from prototype to finished production. It will be launching on April 25 across PlayStation VR, Oculus and Steam VR/HTC Vive. The titles entire budget has been funded by Vee and her investment work.

She also co-wrote WA Labor’s industry seeding policy and compiled information for it. Vee provided the WA Greens with the basis of what became their policy going into our recent state election. What was basically here wish list, is now government policy and now she is lobbying internally with WA Labor to make sure it makes it into the state budget this year. Vee also produced a a video with Senator Scott Ludlam and Tim Clifford, a local Greens candidate which went viral.

Vee rapidly expanded her business last year from what was effectively a micro-business to a thriving entity which now employs six full-time staff and around ten casuals at any given time. She has laid the foundations to grow the studio to over twenty full time staff by year's end.

2016 also saw the studio showcasing Symphony and a prototype of their upcoming game D3BUG at PAX Australia and BitSummit in Japan. They also won a finalist position on the WAITTA Incite Business Awards for Symphony and then went on to be a finalist in the national iAwards. They were the first game company to compete in both sets of business awards and because of their entry, they have redefined their judging criteria on games entrants.

Outside of her day-to-day work, Vee lectures at schools and colleges about entering the game industry in WA and what we need to do to grow it from being the mini-industry it is now. Additionally, whilst medically transitioning, Vee has made every effort to create a diverse, LGBTIQA-friendly business and a safe space. Vee tells MCV Pacific, "In WA, the employment environment is not kind to transgender people of any kind and I wanted to make sure we have a welcoming place to work for any LGBTIQA people."

Continuing, speaking about her inclusion in this year's list, Vee said, "I am stunned to be included amongst a group of such accomplished and brilliant women. It is simultaneously humbling and inspiring to watch what everyone in the Game Changers list has achieved."

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Tags: industry news , MCV Pacific Women In Games

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