What’s Next

(Briefly: if you have no idea who I am, hello! I put together this lil’ bio site to give you a better idea: http://www.nicksuttner.com/)

Today was my last day at Oculus, nearly 14 months after leaving PlayStation.

It’s been a weird year for me, leaving my Sony family behind after seven years together, alongside a big part of my personal and professional identity. And going to work on the Facebook campus every day, equal parts amazing and overwhelming, a Silicon Valley fever dream.

I’m very proud of the work I did back at PlayStation, being part of the team that — I feel — helped to change the industry’s attitude and relationship towards independent developers. I signed games like Firewatch, and The Witness, and poured myself into them to make sure that they received the star treatment they deserved.

And I like to think that in my relatively brief time at Oculus, I helped to lay the groundwork for a critical generation of VR developers. Oculus is home to a lot of great people — many of whom feel like family already — and there are endless interesting things happening in VR. The games and experiences you can have are already amazing, and it’s just a matter of time until the hardware finds the right chemistry with a mainstream market. (At which point things get really cool.)

Ultimately though, I needed a bigger change from Developer Relations/Strategy. And to give myself the time and headspace to discover what I really want to be doing with my life. (Which feels all the more important in these terrifying times.)

I came up with the DEVotion concept to represent the work we were doing with developers, and my girlfriend Amber Cox designed the logo. It was fun to see it around trade shows, on t-shirts, and even in an E3 press conference.

So what’s next? I don’t exactly know. I’m lucky enough to be able to give up a very stable job in an unstable industry, and to be able to take some time off to explore what opportunities may await. I know that I (probably) want to stay in games, despite my deep love of film and music. And that I (probably) want to spend at least half of my workday thinking creatively or being creative. And that I’m (almost definitely) ready to leave the Bay Area.

My greatest driving force in all of this is really to find the right collaborators, whose skills and creative energy compliment my own. Maybe that can be found in a life of freelance design/writing/consulting work? Maybe it lies within an existing studio or company that I have yet to explore? Or maybe it will require building something from the ground up? My heart lies in the smaller, weirder edges of art and culture, but I’d like to think that my experience and learnings can be relevant to developers/publishers/platforms of all sizes and inclinations.

In fact, if you’d like to work together on something, big or small, please get in touch: heynicksuttner@gmail.com (Some Things I Can Help With: writing/editing, design/pitch feedback, biz dev, consulting/advising, talks/events, other?)

I also want to get some momentum going on my own creative projects, something that I can carry forward alongside whatever else I end up doing. I have a board game prototype I want to jam on. I want to pursue a few crazy website ideas I’ve been sitting on for years. I want to get a few videogame concepts down on paper so that I’m closer to actually doing something with them. I’d like to do some podcasting, I really miss that.

Honestly, even getting to write this post is a thrill, with nothing immediately in front of me except a giant question mark (and a few visits and stints at some amazing studios over the next few weeks). And whether you’re a developer I’ve worked with, a reader from back in my press days, or anyone in between: thank you. Thank you for reading this, and for supporting me in a career I couldn’t have imagined when I moved to California 10 years ago (the last time I made a change of this magnitude).

So…what’s next? I don’t know, but I’m excited to figure it out.