IAG catches up with Ben Attwood, who recently joined Light & Wonder (previously Scientific Games) as Senior Director Product Management ANZ and Asia for Slots.
Inside Asian Gaming: Thanks for chatting with us Ben, can you tell us a bit about your background?
Ben Attwood: I was born in Sydney and have always lived in Sydney’s north. I went to school in Chatswood and grew up playing soccer, Australian Rules Football and cricket. I previously spent 16 years working at Aristocrat in product management roles before joining Light & Wonder in November last year.
IAG: How did you become involved with the gaming industry?
BA: I joined Aristocrat as a graduate, straight after finishing university. I knew very little about the industry but soon got the gaming bug. There is so much to love about this industry and the people and friends you meet along the way.
IAG: As you mentioned, you recently joined Light & Wonder after many years with Aristocrat. How did this change come about?
BA: It really came about from some conversations about the company’s new direction and goals, which I was instantly drawn to, and the rest is history.
There are a lot of great people at the company, some of whom I had worked with previously, so it was definitely a team I wanted to join.
IAG: You are now Senior Director Product Management ANZ and Asia for Slots. What does your role entail?
BA: The core of my role is understanding the market, customer challenges and opportunities, and ensuring our design teams are creating products that solve these problems for our customers. Everything else flows from this really.
IAG: Can you run us through a typical workday in the life of Ben Attwood?
BA: It’s safe to say there is no typical day, which is why I love product management. For example, last week I was in future game concept pitches, customer roadmap presentations, project delivery updates, plus meetings about our new company name. There is never a dull day!
IAG: What challenges has the COVID-19 pandemic presented for you while settling into the role?
BA: It is really the same things most people have faced – meeting people for the first time on video meetings, not being able to travel and so on. However, I have been lucky to already know and have previously worked with some people at our company, and it was a very welcoming place to join, which has made the transition very smooth.
IAG: Light & Wonder is renowned as a leader in slots both regionally and globally. What do you hope to achieve as part of the team?
BA: Our goal is to be our customers’ trusted partner as they transition through recovery. Beyond that it is to deliver the best performing content and hardware across the Asia region, which players continue to love to play.
IAG: What trends do you see emerging in slots across Asia-Pacific over the next year or two, and where do you see the greatest opportunities for expansion or innovation?
BA: I expect some of the global trends will continue to grow in Asia such as portrait and persistent game content. Then I hope we are setting the next wave of trends with our new range of products, which then helps our customers grow their businesses.
IAG: Away from work, what do you do to relax in your spare time?
BA: I enjoy running, playing golf and watching most sports, particularly Australian rules football, cricket and golf. However, most of my spare time is enjoying the chance to be with my daughters who are three and one. If I had extra spare time, I would probably sleep more… many people would understand!
IAG: Australia’s borders are reopening and no doubt you will have plenty of travel to do for work, but what will your first overseas destination be for a holiday?
BA: I have a friend’s wedding in Sweden next year, which is a place I have never been to, so I am looking forward to that. Next on the list would be Thailand or New Zealand.