Jason Della Rocca

Read the profile

“Do or do not. There is no try.” - Yoda






Key achievements

  • Actual portfolio value > €260m
  • 20 years of experience with indies
  • Has coached 100+ studios
  • Has helped them secure €150m in funding
  • Became a true Industry Icon

On the lookout for

Developers who think about audience first and design then their games for discoverability.


My first video game experience was with the original Pong. Yes, I'm old. My industry journey began in 1996 at Silicon Graphics, which made the Nintendo64 chip. I stayed on the tech side, ensuring global adoption of 3D accelerated graphics, even for the original Tomb Raider. Then, I faced dismissal twice—first on suspicion of corporate espionage related to the original Xbox, and then for arguing too much with the CEO at Quazal. But the IGDA took a chance on me, and the rest is history. Interestingly, I was initially studying to be an accountant, but quit after just one day.

Fun facts

What was the first game that really hooked you? What moments do you remember?

I'm old. My first gaming experience was with the original brown Pong paddle system. I was at my kindergarten friend's birthday party, and the father pulled out Pong and we screwed it onto the back of the TV and we were mesmerized. My first console was the Atari 2600. And I played computer games on the VIC-20, Commodore 64 (on a tape drive, no less), and Amiga at various friends/cousins homes.... but I wouldn't say those games were memorable, per se.

Some of my more memorable gaming experiences growing up were:

- Traversing the mazes in the original Phantasy Star on the Sega Master System

- Playing as the unstoppable Bo Jackson in Tecmo Bowl on SNES

- Grooving to the hip hop vibes of Jet Set Radio on Dreamcast

- Clicking on an orc for the first time in the original Warcraft and hearing it grunt "work work"

- Witnessing the AI in the first Half-Life jump out of the way of my bullets and take cover

And, many many more :)

How have games influenced or shaped you?

Fundamentally, the concept of trial and error. If you fail, just go again. It instilled a certain tenacity and relentlessness in my personality to never give up. And, more broadly, systems-based thinking. Games are designed systems and models, and taking the time to understand and parse those models often leads to success. I'm very meta in everything I do :)

Which game character resonates with you?

I primarily play games for the systems, not the characters. The characters are just pawns in the larger simulation.

If given a superpower in a game, which would you pick?

I'm not a super power kinda guy. I prefer a sawed-off double-barrel shotgun.