Never enough time for playtesting?

De-risk your game development with player insight, even if you have no time, by working with a world-leading UX expert.

Book a no-pressure initial consultation
GUR Training

Game development is risky business.

It’s heartbreaking to spend years developing a game you love only to see it underwhelm at launch. Usability and experience issues lead to poor player and critical reviews, no marketing or word of mouth traction, and games failing to sell.

Most studios fold after releasing their first game.

Game development doesn’t have to be like this…

Release a game you are confident in

User research and playtesting lets you learn the state of your game, and inspire new directions, while there is still time to fix it.

From ideation onwards, you can learn…

  • Who are my players, and what will lead them to purchase or reject my game?
  • Will players love my concept?
  • What should I prioritise for my game to succeed?
  • Do players understand and enjoy the game?
  • How to optimise retention and reduce churn of the first few hours or days?

Unbiased player experience studies allow evidence based decision making, and give you ammo for internal prioritisation discussions, or negotiations with publishers.


You need a player-first strategy, using regular unbiased games user research studies & understanding real player behaviour throughout production to create clarity and de-risk development decisions.

I run UX research for games throughout development, from ideation to post-launch. Typical collaborations include:

  • Creating your strategic research roadmap to define development priorities and mitigate player experience risks.

  • Uncovering and defining your audience to unlock more confident design decisions, reveal marketing opportunities and align your team behind the most successful implementation of their creative vision.

  • Regular qualitative and quantitative player research to prioritise development effort.

  • Expert UX reviews to identify and remove problems before they impact your players

  • Unbiased analysis of your player data to reveal the top experience issues holding your game back.

  • Retention optimisation to optimise your acquisition costs and lifetime value, and reduce churn.

If you’d like to discuss working together, contact me for a no-pressure initial consultation. We’ll have a chat and answer any questions either of us have. After the call, we can decide if working together makes sense.

Lucky Ghost

In creating a new games studio, I was eager to understand more about our players’ needs and motivations in playing games. Steve was able to turn my vague questions and hypotheses into actionable understanding based on real user feedback, which is impacting studio business strategies and the games we are making.

Steve was a trusted partner through this process – from research design, through execution and a delivery of a clear summary which is a constant reference point.

I’d have no hesitation in working with Steve in the future, and would recommend him to anyone who has questions about the people playing their games, or wants to learn more about user research for games.

James Whitcroft
Founder – Lucky Ghost

Reliable studies throughout development

Games User Research applies scientific and psychological expertise to remove the bias from traditional playtesting.

By combining qualitative and quantitative research methods, investing deeply in playtester recruitment, and drawing upon over a decade of industry experience, working with studios such as PlayStation’s London Studio, Guerilla Games, Media Molecule, and many others still under NDA, I work with trusted partners to run studies from ideation to launch, create conclusions you can trust, and ensure your game achieves its potential.

Games User Research Roadmap

Regularly understanding whether your game lands with players will find and fix problems earlier, saving time and money. This all adds up to confident decision making, a game you know players will love, and no surprises at launch!

If you’re ready to release a game you know players will love, get in touch today.

Kind words from past collaborations

Brynly Gibson

I have found Playtesting to become a vital tool in making good development decisions at different times in the project from concept to finishing. It is an additional data point that helps prove out and support ideas and assumptions we have created. It gives me additional information and insight I didn’t have before which is useful both for internal and external discussions around the game.

I worked with Steve on a title where we had many thorny issues that only playtesting could aid us to make headway on.

He has a real clarity of understanding of how to translate your questions and needs into practical unbiased tests and programs to get the understanding you seek.

Brynley Gibson
Executive Producer at Sharkmob
Caspar Field

When Wish Studios created the PlayLink concept for PlayStation, we developed a new gameplay paradigm in which casual players would use mobile phone apps as controllers for console games. Such a radical shift, aimed at a non-technical audience, naturally required in-depth playtesting to ensure we got it right.

Steve’s test team provided the answer, delivering well-structured, informative, actionable feedback for our development team to work with.

Caspar Field
CEO – Wish Studios
John Foster

Steve is an expert in his field, and his exceptional manner is very suited to working with a range of clients. I don’t hesitate to recommend him.

John Foster
Lead Game Designer – Sumo Digital


    • Unbiased, external view applying UX and psychology expertise to understand the why behind player behaviour.

    • Tens of thousands of hours of playtest experience, on top console, indie and mobile games. I have dealt with every kind of game development and playtesting challenge.

    • Remote first approach – avoid geographic bias and access the widest range of players from important markets.

    • WYSIWYG – Work directly with Steve (rather than agencies who’ll hand you over the more junior team members after you’ve committed)

    • The home of games user research – Steve is author of best-selling user research books and the world’s most popular games user research site.

    • World-class playtesting approaches – Steve created and applies The Playtest Kit to ensure reliable and actionable results.


Start a Conversation today

Have a question or curious about working together? I’d love to hear from you.

You can book in an introductory call here

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