Stevie Case

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Stevie Case
Stevana Case

(1976-09-07) September 7, 1976 (age 44)
Other namesKillCreek
Alma materUniversity of Kansas
OccupationHead of Enterprise West Sales
Known forProfessional Quake player Level design at Ion Storm
Partner(s)John Romero (1999–2003)
Stevie Case
Personal information
BornSeptember 7, 1976
HometownOlathe, Kansas
Career information
LeagueCyberathlete Professional League
Career history
1996-1997Impulse 9

Stevana "Stevie" Case (born September 7, 1976) is an American businesswoman and executive, former video game designer and former competitive Quake player. Under the in-game name KillCreek, she was known as one of the first well-known female esports players, gaining recognition for beating Quake designer John Romero in a Quake deathmatch. She was the first professional gamer signed to the Cyberathlete Professional League (CPL).

Case was hired at Ion Storm, working on quality assurance and level design. She left the company to manage Monkeystone Games with former Ion Storm employees Romero and Tom Hall. After a stint at Warner Bros. managing the production of mobile games, she began working at various companies in business development and sales.

Early life[edit]

Case, whose parents were a science teacher and a social worker, grew up in Olathe, Kansas.[1]:179[2] As a child, she enjoyed playing computer games. Her first experience in gaming was when her father brought home an Apple IIe computer in second grade, where she got to play Lode Runner and Joust.[2][3][4]

Case had attended Olathe East High School from 1991 to 1994.[5] When she was still a student at Olathe East, and as the student government president,[6] Case was one of the plaintiffs in the 1995 court case Case v. Unified School District No. 233.[5] During the trial, students and parents in Olathe successfully challenged the school district's decision to ban Annie on my Mind from the school library.[7][8] She later attended the University of Kansas in hopes of getting into law school.[1]:180


Professional Quake player and John Romero deathmatch[edit]

While at the University of Kansas as a freshman studying political science, Case enjoyed playing Doom and Doom II with her circle of friends.[2][3] She became interested in playing Quake competitively through her then-boyfriend Tom "Entropy" Kimzey, joining his competitive team, Impulse 9, and competing as KillCreek.[1]:180 According to Case in a live-chat with Playboy, her in-game name was inspired by the Lawrence, Kansas band of the same name.[9] Impulse 9 competed in the Quake competitive league Clanring, and won the T1 competition in 1996.[10][11]

After a few months of competing and making a name for herself, Case went to Dallas on a pilgrimage to meet some of the developers of her favorite first-person-shooter computer games.[2] During her trip, she got the chance to play a Quake deathmatch against the game's designer, John Romero, but was beaten by him in a close game.[1]:186 After Romero put up a web page jokingly insulting her skill at the game, Case publicly demanded a rematch with him.[12] While Case initially struggled in the best-of-three rematch, she rallied back to win the first round 25-19, and went on to ultimately defeat Romero.[13] As punishment, Romero agreed to set up a web page praising Case.[2][14]

Case was twenty years old at the time she won the rematch in 1997,[15]:104 and beating one of the co-creators of Quake at his own game brought her a lot of publicity. She gained a sponsor in computer mouse manufacturer SpaceTec IMC that year,[12][16][4][17] and her victory against Romero received coverage in Rolling Stone.[18] Angel Munoz, the founder of Cyberathlete Professional League, convinced Case to join his league in July 1997, becoming its first signed professional gamer.[19][20] She eventually became one of the league's original founders.[15]:104 Case competed in the first all-female Quake tournament that year, coming in second behind Kornelia Takacs.[21][22] Case moved to Texas in the middle of 1997.[20] Describing her move, she said that while she had a passion for political science, she "was not excited about the day-to-day aspects of politics or practicing law."[3]

Transition to game design[edit]

While playing professionally, Case began looking at game design as a potential career, stating, "I love games, and I love competition -- but having no choice but to play the same game day-in and day-out with all sorts of pressure attached just didn't suit my nature."[20] According to Case, she did freelance game design work from her Dallas home for two years after university, using free design tools that she downloaded.[23]:55 One of the first game levels she designed was for 1999's SiN: Wages of Sin.[20] Setting up a small studio called Primitive Earthling Games, she and some friends created a Quake II add-on called Vengeance and submitted it to WizardWorks.[24] However, it never became available for purchase due to publishing delays.[20][25] Between 1998 and 2000, Case authored three strategy guide books for Prima Games on the games Jazz Jackrabbit 2 (1998), Buck Bumble (1998), and Daikatana (2000).[26] She also contributed to Prima Games' strategy guide on Quake II.[27]

After applying for the position, Case was hired at Ion Storm in the summer of 1997 as a video game tester.[20][24] In November 1998, Romero offered her a job in level design when that position became available, which she accepted.[20][28] Case helped work on the levels of Daikatana (2000),[29] as well as Anachronox.[30] It was during this time period that Case began to date Romero. According to David Kushner's Masters of Doom, Case "radically reinvented herself" by losing weight, bleaching her hair, and undergoing breast augmentation surgery.[1]:216 Case received further press coverage, appearing on the March 2000 cover of PC Accelerator,[31] and being featured as one of the "Next Game Gods" in the November 2000 issue of PC Gamer.[32] She was approached by Playboy to appear in a nude pictorial, based on an interview she did in the Los Angeles Times. The pictorial was released online in May 2000.[3][33] When asked about how she changed after moving to Dallas and making video games a career, Case responded:

Making the leap to games helped me to realize that the only way to be truly happy is to live by your own rules, not limited by outside expectations. I love my job, found a wonderful boyfriend and truly found myself through games.[3]

Case was still involved in the Cyberathlete Professional League in some capacity. She eventually transitioned into being CPL's "Master of Ceremonies",[34] and in 1999, Case joined the CPL's board of directors.[35]

Case left Ion Storm in January 2001[36] to join Romero at his new company, Monkeystone Games, which was created in August 2001.[28][37] Monkeystone was formed out of a desire to move away from creating PC games due to their budget and lengthy development cycles, allowing Romero to explore the concept of mobile games that had first interested him in 1999.[38] Case worked as a producer for Monkeystone's first game, Hyperspace Delivery Boy!, and also created the music and sound effects.[39] She also was credited on titles like Monkeystone's Red Faction port for the N-Gage.[40] After leaving Monkeystone Games, Case became a senior project manager for Warner Bros. Online's mobile group.[41]

Sales and business development[edit]

According to Case, she decided at this point to slowly transition out of working in the game development industry, stating in an interview:

There was a ton of harassment and hate and sexism and abuse. People would send me hate email all the time. ... The benefit of connecting with people was so drowned out by how bad it felt to be in the spotlight.[42]

Case recalled receiving the opportunity to leave game development when one of her contacts approached her about a potential junior sales position at his workplace.[42] After leaving Warner Bros., Case was employed at Tira Wireless in sales and business development.[43] Afterwards, she held a position with Spleak Media Network, where she was a director of product management.

In September 2008, she was vice president of business development and sales for fatfoogoo, an online commerce company.[44][45] Case also served as Senior Director of Business Development at Live Gamer,[46][47] and joined PlaySpan in 2010 as vice president of sales.[48] PlaySpan was acquired by Visa in 2011.[49]

On March 1, 2010, NewWorld, the former parent company of the CPL, announced that it had signed a two-year agreement with Stevie Case for the production of a new podcast show called Stevie FTW.[50] According to the website's RSS feed, the last podcast was uploaded on March 11, 2011,[51] and the last social media update was on the same date.

After working as the vice president of growth at San Francisco-based startup Layer,[42][52] according to her LinkedIn profile, she is now currently Head of Enterprise West Sales at Twilio.[53] She is also listed as a participant in SheEO, a nonprofit supporting the funding of female entrepreneurs,[54] as well as the female investor group 37 Angels.[55]

Personal life[edit]

Case dated Quake player Tom "Entropy" Kimzey, who was also a University of Kansas student and a member of Impulse 9.[1]:180 According to the June 1997 issue of Spin, they were involved romantically until the spring of 1997.[56] Case had also dated game developer Tom Mustaine.[57]

Soon after defeating Quake designer John Romero in a Quake deathmatch, she and Romero started dating. Case and Romero moved in together in 1999. Their relationship ended in the spring of 2003; Case went on to marry a director of product development at THQ, and had a child with him.[15]:252 In a 2016 interview, Case stated that she had been a single parent with full custody of her child for eight years.[42]


Year Company Title Role/Position Notes
1998 Freelance SiN Special Thanks[58]
1999 Ritual Entertainment / 2015 Games Sin: Wages of Sin Additional Level Design[59] Credited as Stevie "KillCreek" Case.
2000 Ion Storm Daikatana Level Designer[29]
2001 Ion Storm Anachronox Additional Level Design Cleanup[30]
2001 Monkeystone Games Hyperspace Delivery Boy! Producer, Music and SFX[39]
2003 Monkeystone Games Red Faction Creative Commando[40]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kushner, David (2003). Masters of Doom : how two guys created an empire and transformed pop culture (1st ed.). New York: Random House. ISBN 0375505245. OCLC 50129329.
  2. ^ a b c d e Levine, Bettijane (1999-08-01). "She's Winning a Place in the Cyber History Books". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  3. ^ a b c d e Kushner, David (2000-05-11). "Stevie Case". Playboy. Archived from the original on 2001-02-15. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  4. ^ a b "Killcreek interview". Electric Playground. Archived from the original on 1999-02-03. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  5. ^ a b Stevana Case, et al. v. Unified School District No. 233, Johnson County, Kansas, et al. (United States District Court, D. Kansas. November 29, 1995). Text
  6. ^ Kielwasser, Al (1994-09-22). "Queer Fall Preview!". Bay Area Reporter. 24 (38). San Francisco, CA. p. 13. At a news conference this March, Stevie Case, Olathe East High School student body president and lead plaintiff in the ACLU's case, ...
  7. ^ "Case v. Unified School District No. 233". University of Miami Entertainment & Sports Law Review. 13 (2): 288–290. July 1996.
  8. ^ Pat Scales (2009). Protecting Intellectual Freedom in Your School Library: Scenarios from the Front Lines. American Library Association. pp. 22. ISBN 978-0-8389-3581-1.
  9. ^ "Chat With Daikatana Designer/ Celebrity Model Stevie Case". Playboy. Archived from the original on 2001-01-06. Retrieved 2019-07-10. guest27: Are you talking about the band Kill Creek from Lawrence? steviecase: Yes, definitely. I borrowed my name from them, and they were very nice about it.
  10. ^ Jebens, Harley (2000-04-28). "Quake Competition Upcoming". GameSpot. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  11. ^ "blue's Quake News September 28-October 4, 1996". Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  12. ^ a b Saunders, Michael (1997). "Queen of `Quake' Making a Killing". The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 1999-01-17. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  13. ^ Uttermann, Alex (August 1997). "Beating Romero At His Own Game". Computer Gaming World. No. 157. p. 42.
  14. ^ Copel, Lib (2000-04-13). "Games People Play". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  15. ^ a b c Chaplin, Heather; Ruby, Aaron (2005). Smartbomb : the quest for art, entertainment, and big bucks in the videogame revolution (1st ed.). Chapel Hill, N.C.: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. ISBN 1565123468. OCLC 60359576.
  16. ^ Soete, Tim. "KillCreek: Master Murderess!". GameSpot. p. 2. Archived from the original on 2002-10-22. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  17. ^ Brown, Janelle (1997-07-08). "Quakefest Gathers Warrior Geekstresses". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  18. ^ Dovey, Jon; Kennedy, Helen W. (2006-05-01). Game Cultures: Computer Games As New Media: Computer Games as New Media. McGraw-Hill Education (UK). p. 128. ISBN 978-0-335-21357-3.
  19. ^ Fitzgerald, Brian R. (1999-10-04). "A Showdown at the Quake Corral Becomes a High-School Nightmare". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  20. ^ a b c d e f g Law, Caryn. "GameSpy Interviews - Women of Gaming: Stevie "Killcreek" Case--Ion Storm". GameSpy. Archived from the original on 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  21. ^ Raney, Rebecca Fairley (1997-09-02). "Cyber-Amazons in a Death Match Sans Testosterone". Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  22. ^ "Kornelia Triumphs". PC Gamer. November 1997. p. 83.
  23. ^ Reis, Ronald A. (2001). Careers in art and graphic design. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series. ISBN 0764116290. OCLC 44979715.
  24. ^ a b Jebens, Harley (2000-04-27). "KillCreek on Daikatana". GameSpot. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  25. ^ Case, Stevie (1999-02-21). "Stevie "KillCreek" Case" (Interview). Interviewed by Josh Forman. Archived from the original on 1999-04-20. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  26. ^ "Books by Stevie Case". Retrieved November 4, 2011.
  27. ^ Jebens, Harley (2000-04-28). "KillCreek Teams With Prima Quake II Guide". GameSpot. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  28. ^ a b Taute, Michelle (2007-12-27). "Q+A - Stevie Case". Print Magazine. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  29. ^ a b "John Romero's Daikatana". AllGame. Archived from the original on 2014-11-17. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  30. ^ a b "Anachronox". AllGame. Archived from the original on 2014-11-15. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  31. ^ "Gaming 101". PC Accelerator. March 2000. pp. 17–39.
  32. ^ "The New Game Gods". PC Gamer. Vol. 7 no. 11. November 2000. pp. 69–100.
  33. ^ James, Michael (2000-09-04). "Playing for a Living". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  34. ^ Humphries, Scott (2001-05-24). "Stevie Case Interview". IGN. Retrieved 2019-07-10.
  35. ^ "Speaker Biographies". Electronic Entertainment Expo 2001 Directory - Official Exhibit Guide (booklet). 2001. p. 34. In 1999 Stevie rejoined the CPL as a member of the Board of Directors.
  36. ^ Gibson, Steve (2001-01-29). "Case Leaves Ion Storm". Shacknews. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  37. ^ Morgan Ramsay (3 June 2015). Online Game Pioneers at Work. Apress. pp. 256–. ISBN 978-1-4302-4186-7.
  38. ^ Howarth, Robert (2001-10-04). "MonkeyStone Games - An ex-ION interview with Killcreek, Romero and Hall". Voodoo Extreme. Archived from the original on 2001-12-21. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  39. ^ a b Stevie, Case (2002-01-25). "Stevie "KillCreek" Case Interview" (Interview). Interviewed by dolo. Archived from the original on 2002-04-20. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  40. ^ a b "Red Faction". AllGame. Archived from the original on 2014-11-15. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  41. ^ Steinberg, Scott (Summer 2004). "Love & Rockets - The stuff that makes girl gamers tick". Surge. No. 3. p. 58. "All my fame came because I was female," admits Case, who now works as a senior project manager for Warner Bros. wireless division.
  42. ^ a b c d "Stevie Case". 2016-02-23. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  43. ^ Wigandt, Rebecca (2009-05-06). "Interview: Stevana Case, gaming trendspotter". Gamer's Intuition. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  44. ^ "Stevana Case joins fatfoogoo executive team". fatfoogoo. September 30, 2008.
  45. ^ Cardaun, Sarah (2008-10-01). "Stevana Case appointment" (Press release). Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  46. ^ Ashby, Alicia (January 19, 2010). "Live Gamer Hires Stevie Case". Engage Digital. Archived from the original on August 15, 2011.
  47. ^ Caoili, Eric (2010-01-19). "Live Gamer Hires Stevie Case For Business Development". Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  48. ^ Caoili, Eric (2010-08-31). "PlaySpan Appoints Stevie Case As Sales VP". Gamasutra. Retrieved 2019-07-09.
  49. ^ "Visa Buys Virtual Goods Monetization Platform PlaySpan For $190 Million In Cash". TechCrunch. February 9, 2011.
  50. ^ "Stevie Case Teams With NewWorld to Deliver Stevie FTW Podcast". NewWorld. March 1, 2010. Archived from the original on August 16, 2011.
  51. ^ "Stevie FTW Podcast". (RSS feed). Archived from the original on 2011-10-04. Retrieved 2019-07-11.
  52. ^ Case, Stevie (2014-07-23). "Why I joined Layer". Layer. Archived from the original on 2019-07-13. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  53. ^ "Stevie Case". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2020-06-25.
  54. ^ "Stevana Case". SheEO. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  55. ^ "Angels". 37 Angels. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  56. ^ Kushner, David (June 1997). "Blood Sport". SPIN. p. 107. [Entrophy] plays bass in a local band, studies genetics, and until this spring even dated a University of Kansas student government leader who, I find out, is none other than I9's Kill-Creek, the Bonnie to his Clyde.
  57. ^ Soete, Tim. "KillCreek: Master Murderess!". GameSpot. p. 5. Archived from the original on 2002-12-22. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  58. ^ "SiN". AllGame. Archived from the original on 2014-11-14. Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  59. ^ 2015. SiN: Wages of Sin. Activision. Scene: staff credits.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)

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