Just Flight, Just Play...Just What Gamers Needed!20 Jun 2003 0
The Wargamer interviewed the people most closely involved in finalizing the publishing deal for UK-based Just Play, a division of Just Flight Ltd. We wondered why Just Flight, well known for its flight sim add-ons, decided to move into the wargames market, so we asked managing director of Just Flight, Mungo Amyatt-Leir, and Bob Malin, Brand Manager for Just Play, that very question.
Mungo Amyatt-Leir: Just Flight has always been perceived as a publisher of specialist Flight-Sim related products, but in recent years we have broadened our horizons, having created the Just Trains brand which publishes add-ons for several train simulator products, and Just Football which has been marketing a football management game customised for several top European football teams including Arsenal. One of the other areas we researched was strategy games, and we came to the conclusion that there was a gap in the market for historically accurate, turn based wargames and strategy games, as larger publishers seemed to have left the brands previously strong in these titles, such as SSI and Talonsoft wither on the vine, and we had not seen a "traditional" historical wargame published for some time. We were then fortunate that we were able to appoint Bob Malin, As brand manager for our Just Play brand, and task him with sourcing and managing a range of strategy games. Bob's experience in Strategy games is second to none, and within a few months he brokered the deal with Matrix Games.
The Wargamer (WG): Bob can you give us some information on your gaming background and gaming history.
Bob Malin (BM): Well I can claim that I have been a wargamer since 1961. When I was 3 years old I was given a box of Cowboys and Indians by one of my aunts. From there I became a collector of Britains figures, then progressing through to having thousands of Airfix 1/72nd plastic figures. In my teens I moved into metal 25mm figures and acquired several ancient armies playing to Wargame Research Group rules. When I was 14, a wargaming friend introduced me to board wargames through Avalon Hill's Afrika Korps, from that point on I moved away from figures and became an avid collector of board wargames.
In the mid 80's my first daughter was born, and this meant my board games were not safe to be left out for an inquisitive toddler to disturb my carefully prepared assault on Moscow, by either moving the 48th Panzer Korps, or worse still eating it! So I moved into Computer Wargames, where the worst that could happen was a toddler switching off the computer just as I was about to capture Moscow. I started with an Atari 400 with a rubber keyboard and paid exorbitant amounts of money to acquire SSI games that were compatible with the Atari, such as Gary Grigsby's original War in Russia game (I think I paid