February 14, 2022

When he was 12, Ulupreneur Ismail Maiyegun’s father threatened to take away his computer and Nintendo unless he used them productively. Two days later, his father handed him a programming book and said, “Instead of playing games, learn how to make them!” And so began Ismail’s life as a gaming programmer. He says making games and products that enable economic empowerment, utility, and entertainment brings him as much joy today as it did when he first started programming as a pre-teen.

Ismail is co-founder and CEO of Big Wolf, a top-tier game developer, live operator, and publisher. He believes it’s the confluence of market forces—crypto, Web3, gaming, mobile—that has created a favorable environment for him and his co-founders to grow Big Wolf into a large technology and media company.

We like that Ismail takes a non-traditional, fresh approach to building games and imagining what type of games to create, often targeting under-represented and traditionally under-imagined stories and perspectives. He’s especially energized about empowering other game developers, storytellers, and world-builders to do the same. We think he’s a great role model for the industry.

Bio

Ismail Maiyegun is the CEO and Co-Founder of Big Wolf, a mobile game studio and platform operating at the intersection of storytelling, IP, and Web3. He graduated from Stanford in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering, with a focus on computer software.

Born in Nigeria, Ismail is a third-culture kid, having spent most of his early years in the Middle East (Kuwait) and France before immigrating to the United States.

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About the Author: Rusty Dornin

Rusty Dornin is the director of marketing and communications for Ulu Ventures. An award-winning radio and television journalist, she was a CNN correspondent for nearly 18 years covering domestic and world news ranging from war to natural disasters and tales of crime and politics