Aubrey Edwards talks AEW: Elite General Manager and her history in the video game industry.
Most wrestling fans know Aubrey Edwards as one of AEW's referees but before her days of wearing the stripes, she had a career in the video game industry. Edwards was a video game developer largely focused on mobile games, and she would bring that expertise to AEW as part of the AEW: Elite General Manager project.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, Edwards recounted her history in the world of video game development.
"I went to college to get my undergrad in computer science. So I’m traditionally a programmer. In my first job, I started as a programmer," she said. "We were working on tools for art pipelines and stuff. So as art goes from what the artist makes to what the video game actually renders, there’s a bit there that needs to run, and I was building that bit. So I did that and then eventually moved into what we call production in video games. Which is a lot like manager focused on both resource management and people.
"So you have a limited number of resources to make the games and people, you have a particular scope that you’re trying to make, and then you have a limited number of money to bring in more people," she added. "So you’re sort of playing that puzzle constantly and trying to just make sure that you can get this game on time and on budget and not having to hire an army of people that you then have to lay off after. So I did that, primarily for my entire professional career. So I worked at four different places, I worked on twelve different games."
Speaking about Elite GM, an AEW booking simulator for mobile devices, Aubrey explained that Crystallized Games built the game, and their team pitched it to AEW. Edwards would oversee the project and ensure the team stayed on budget while also staying true to the AEW product.
"AEW Elite General Manager was built by a team called Crystallized Games. They’re based in Toronto. I actually got to visit them for the first time when we went to Toronto," she said. "Those guys basically pitched the game to us—very, very early prototype. When you see an early prototype in a game, it’s not pretty. It’s just a lot of photoshopped art to get the idea across. They pitched it to us, we negotiated a contract, and I oversaw the development of that game.
"So I worked a lot on making sure that they were making the best decisions to hit their time and budget. So if they wanted art to go in one particular direction, I used my experience to guide them where we needed to go. I also worked a lot on the creative aspects, which is not something I had a lot of experience in. So when we were doing the Season Passes, I was the one writing all the scripts for those."
Aubrey also says she enjoyed watching several team members that worked on Elite GM become wrestling fans as they continue to work on the project.
"It’s nice ‘cause they had about two guys on the team that were big wrestling fans. So they were very, ‘Okay, this is how this is going to go, this is how this is going to go.’ The other guys, it’s always interesting to introduce someone to wrestling, where you’re kind of showing them the ropes, so to speak. But saying, ‘No, we don’t really do that. We do this,’ sort of thing. They were all big wrestling fans by the end of development," she said.
AEW: Elite General Manager is available now on iOS and Android devices. Through DLC, the mobile game would become the first in 8 years and also the first video game to feature new stars such as Ricky Starks, MJF, and HOOK.
AEW is also working on a major console video game release. AEW Fight Forever is currently in development. The latest game to be Produced by THQ and developed by Yuke's, Fight Forever boasts an arcade-like gameplay style similar to that of WWF No Mercy on the Nintendo 64, over three dozen weapons, and more. Fans can learn more about the project here.