All Elite Wrestling’s Aubrey Edwards is without doubt one of the hardest and hottest referees in professional wrestling at the moment. Her penchant for not taking any nonsense from stars like Chris Jericho has made her as beloved because the wrestlers themselves, however earlier than she was laying down the regulation on AEW Dynamite each Wednesday on TNT, Aubrey Edwards (whose actual identify is Brittany Aubert) spent 10 years serving to convey digital worlds to life within the sport business.
Throughout her time within the business, she labored in quite a lot of roles for a number of studios, most notably as a producer for the Scribblenauts franchise. With the current announcement of AEW’s first foray into video video games, Aubert finds herself again on this planet of game-making, combining her two dream jobs into one. I sat down with Aubert to speak about all issues video games, together with how she fell in love with the medium and what she completed throughout her tenure. She additionally clarifies what AEW Video games is and what her involvement entails.
AEW followers who’ve paid consideration could have heard Aubert categorical her love of gaming in interviews, however that aspect of her life is commonly a fast speaking level in additional wrestling-centric discussions. So what varieties of video games does she get pleasure from?
“I’ve truly been taking part in video video games for much longer than I have been watching wrestling,” says Aubert. “I began taking part in video video games as early as I can bear in mind. My home was at all times very a lot a online game family. There’s footage of my mother taking part in Duck Hunt pregnant with me. I performed Sonic the Hedgehog together with her when she was pregnant with my sister. I performed NBA Jam with my dad, so it is like gaming’s at all times been a giant a part of simply my life generally. So once I was rising up I performed Ocarina of Time in 1998 and was like ‘Oh man, there’s folks in an workplace someplace who made this factor! That is one thing that I might do for a residing.’ So from that second on, I am like ‘I’ll make video video games, and that is gonna be what I do with my life!’”
In her youth, Aubert adored JRPGs comparable to Remaining Fantasy VII, X, and Kingdom Hearts (“The unique one, earlier than the story received actually wacky,” says Aubert) however her style shifted as life received busier. In faculty she fell in love with the shorter indie experiences. Aubert cites Braid, for instance, as one in every of her all-time favorites. “My favourite sport within the final yr that I’ve performed is Untitled Goose Recreation simply because it is solely 4 hours and also you get to be an a–hole goose. It’s implausible.”
Because the wrestling enterprise requires fixed journey, the Swap has been Aubert’s “savior” for satisfying her gaming repair. She considers herself a Nintendo child and is a large fan of The Legend of Zelda and Pikmin franchises particularly. It speaks to her basic affinity for colourful video games that emphasize lighthearted creativeness over hardcore violence. “If it is cute, cute, and has vibrant colours, I’ve in all probability performed it,” she says.
Scribblenauts And Different Ventures
Aubert chased her game-development goals by attending DigiPen Institute of Know-how in Redmond, WA, incomes a Bachelor of Science diploma in Pc Science. Upon commencement, she spent the subsequent decade working in quite a lot of studios in each improvement and producer roles.
Her longest tenure at a studio got here at fifth Cell, the place she labored on the Scribblenauts franchise for greater than six years. Given Aubert’s love of whimsical video games, the studio appeared like an ideal match.
“I assume that is a part of the explanation that drew me to the franchise within the first place,” she says. “I used to be a Nintendo child rising up, so listening to that fifth Cell was persevering with to make Nintendo video games and so they have been making one thing that was cool and distinctive and had by no means been achieved earlier than, I used to be like, ‘Nicely, yeah, I do know I’ll apply right here.’”
Photograph Credit score: Luis Yepez
Aubert served as a device programmer for the primary Scribblenauts, moved as much as the function of producer for Tremendous Scribblenauts, and, lastly grew to become a lead producer on Scribblenauts Limitless, a launch title for the Wii U. Moreover, she oversaw improvement of the sport’s iOS port. Serving to convey Maxwell’s adventures to life for therefore lengthy has penciled a everlasting spot for the franchise in Aubert’s coronary heart; she even has a Starite tattoo on her arm.
After leaving fifth Cell, Aubert moved on to WG Cells (a division of Wargaming) to work on a couple of cellular video games, however Wargaming shut down her department earlier than any of these initiatives noticed the sunshine of day. She moved on to Metropolis State Leisure, a studio made up of Mythic Leisure alumni, to assist launch its West Coast studio. Aubert then moved on to Vreal, a now-defunct VR game-streaming platform. Regardless of serving to to develop a functioning alpha construct, the studio finally ran out of funding and Aubert was laid off.
Dropping two jobs out of 4 started to bitter Aubert on the business, “I hadn’t truly shipped a sport since 2012 exterior of a pair early alpha variations of issues, so it form of simply wears on you slightly bit.” says Aubert.
Fortunately, an sudden alternative appeared within the type of professional wrestling. Not solely did it present a welcome change of surroundings, however finally served as a roundabout approach again into game-making.
Photograph Credit score: Scott Lesh
Discovering Professional Wrestling And AEW Video games
Aubert grew to become a fan of wrestling in 2011, kicking off an obsession that led to Aubert studying the way to referee in 2017. Although she nonetheless labored in video games full time, Aubert refereed on the indie wrestling circuit as a passion on weekends. Fortunately, as her love for the game grew, so did the alternatives; Aubert even had a quick stint in WWE as one of many referees for the 2018 Mae Younger Basic, a girls’s wrestling event (she officiated the notorious bout through which Tegan Nox blew out her knee in opposition to Rhea Ripley). When All Elite Wrestling shaped in 2019, the fledgling group approached her with a full-time gig.
“Ultimately it ended up rising very massive,” Aubert says. “It form of simply received to the purpose the place I stated, ‘I can hold going with this video games factor full-time, or I can chase this AEW factor.’ As a result of at that time it is early 2019, we have Double or Nothing arising, nobody actually is aware of what to anticipate. However they’re speaking about altering the world, and that at all times appears like a extremely enjoyable factor. So I took a threat, and I left video games, and I joined AEW.”
Photograph Credit score: James Musselwhite
When Aubert joined AEW, she rapidly gained a following for not solely being one of many few feminine referees in mainstream wrestling, however for her penchant for retaining the lads in tights in line regardless of how imposing they’re. AEW has gained a passionate fanbase, and a online game was among the many first issues that diehards begged for as soon as the corporate received rolling. Their want got here true after which some when the corporate unveiled AEW Video games in November (through a satirical press convention) with three video games within the works: a No Mercy-inspired console sport and two cellular titles.
After all, given Aubert’s background, it was a provided that she could be concerned with AEW Video games.
“In some unspecified time in the future or one other, somebody came upon that I had a tech background,” Aubert explains. “And I despatched my resume to numerous executives at our firm and so they’re like, ‘Oh, you labored on video games for a really very long time.’ So when the dialog about AEW Video games began to come back about and [started] to truly develop video games, it was form of a no brainer that I be concerned with that.”
Aubert is primarily targeted on overseeing AEW Elite Normal Supervisor, a cellular sport that enables gamers to e book exhibits and handle the roster. Nonetheless, she has her arms full helping manufacturing for all of AEW’s titles in a job that mixes her experiences as a hands-on developer and producer.
“It is virtually like a hybrid function.” Aubert says. “I am doing improvement issues in the best way that I am working with artwork and ensuring that each one of our characters are represented correctly, that our model is represented correctly. I am working with the group to work on completely different options and observe the sport design that we’re constructing with this sport. I am at the moment writing some narrative stuff for tutorials and whatnot. So I am doing numerous random day-to-day improvement stuff, however on the identical time form of performing as that writer function as properly, working with advertising and marketing and making an attempt to determine what our timelines are there and dealing with budgets and all these various things.”
We nonetheless don’t know a lot about AEW’s mysterious console sport; proper now, Aubert can solely inform me she “can’t wait to speak about it.” Since Aubert grew to become a wrestling fan a lot later in life, she didn’t develop up taking part in beloved classics comparable to WWF No Mercy. That’s why she’s made it a precedence to mud off the N64 and research No Mercy to determine what makes it click on. “We actually need to be sure that what we’re making is what wrestling followers need. In order somebody who makes video games – and this has at all times been the case – if I am constructing one thing and we’re making an attempt to hit a selected vibe or a selected market, it is my job to do the analysis to ensure we’re reaching that.”
Photograph Credit score: Steve Yu
Wrestling and sport improvement are two very massive and infrequently tumultuous animals. Once I requested her to explain the variations, Aubert pointed to how adjusting to suggestions is without doubt one of the largest.
“With video games you are constructing one thing for doubtlessly years, after which the followers get to play it while you’re achieved with it.” she explains. “You get to see this wonderful response to what it’s that you simply made. With wrestling I get that a number of occasions each Wednesday. That we’ve a gaggle of individuals which might be telling a narrative and, 15-20 minutes later, we all know precisely how that story was perceived, and even within the second we get the fan response to one thing. Are they liking it, are they not liking it? And that is one thing that’s fully distinctive to another efficiency media.”
By combining her passions into one, Brittany Aubert has confirmed that following your targets (particularly in the event that they contain pursuits you genuinely get pleasure from) can result in goals being realized in methods you typically can’t predict.
“I at all times needed to announce a online game in improvement on a stage,” she says. “That had been one in every of my targets in video games ceaselessly. So I solely wanted to go away video games and be a part of a wrestling firm with the intention to pull that off.”
You possibly can watch Aubrey Edwards in motion on AEW Dynamite each Wednesday at eight p.m. ET on TNT and take heed to her discuss wrestling because the co-host of the AEW Unrestricted Podcast.