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.
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.