Inside Lockwood: Halli Thor Bjornsson

To culminate our Inside Lockwood series we thought there’d be no better way to cap things off than by sitting down and having a chat with our inspirational leader and CEO, Halli Thor Bjornsson. So we wanted to get to know just what it’s like to spearhead an organisation as influential as Lockwood. Strap in, this is going to be a good one!

So, first of all Halli, it’s great to sit down and speak to you. Can you tell us a bit about your journey to becoming Lockwood’s CEO? Did you always envisage yourself in some kind of leadership role?

Thanks and likewise! My dad was an entrepreneur and I used to work for him as a kid and he was the same, chasing his dreams, creating something, so maybe I got that desire from him. I come from Iceland and spent a lot of time as a kid in what can only be described as remote landscapes to most people. There weren’t many people around and I recall being incredibly bored at times. Maybe that cultivated some sort of a desire to do something and to rely on your imagination. I definitely think that coming from Scandinavia also can give you an existential outlook on things and as we’re not here for that long then if we have a dream to create something we should really give it a go.

Did you envisage the metaverse having this big of an impact, and what do you attribute it to?

Yes, definitely. I’m doing a talk next week and I remembered that I did a talk about 20 years ago at my old school. This was when I had just started in games and I remember telling them about how I felt that the games format is the ultimate form of expression or language. It’s still a very young language so there’s still a lot of potential to be unlocked. You can look at the Metaverse from a lot of different angles and one of them is that cultural expansion into the digital game format and importantly personal expression. It really struck me when I visited Japan 15 years ago how expression was flowing in that direction.

When people think of Lockwood, what would you like to be the first thing that comes to their mind?

I’m a real softie to be honest, so my main thing is that people think of us in a nice way. That we have values that they can identify with and care about.

What makes Lockwood different from other video game companies?

There are so many different types of games companies so it’s difficult to generalise. Maybe it’s that we are not just a standard games company as Avakin is very much a social place first rather than a game per se so that’s probably the most fundamental thing.

How do you ensure the values of Lockwood are maintained — both in day-to-day work and within Avakin Life

Like all of us then I can only do that through my actions really and then find people that share the same values. We could write down some rules or something but at the end of the day then it’s really just how we treat each other.

What’s the biggest challenge you face as being a CEO?

Where do I start! It’s a huge responsibility both to our team as well as our community. Thankfully though then it’s a shared thing and I’m just grateful for all the great people who have wanted to join us on our journey. There are loads of times when I could no doubt have done better and I’m learning just as anyone else would. I definitely make mistakes!

Running a company is an incredible rollercoaster or at least that’s what it feels like to me. There’s always something changing in our environment which both can be challenging but at the same time creates opportunities. That’s one of the things that excited me about being in games.

Finally, as the metaverse continues its exponential growth, what would you like Lockwood’s legacy to be?

I’d love it if Lockwood was thought of as having created some of the best that the metaverse has to offer and that our community could think back with a sense of fondness. That would be awesome.

And there we have it — our Inside Lockwood series has come to an end. We’d like to thank Philine, Jade and of course, Halli for taking the time out to speak to us. Who else from Lockwood would you like us to sit down and have a chat with? Let us know on our socials!

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Lockwood Publishing

Lockwood Publishing

We’re Lockwood Publishing, leading independent developers and creators of Avakin Life.