In this interview, Melissa chats with us about her experience entering the games industry from fashion, finding a mentor through Limitbreak Mentorship. and how she handles marketing strategy for her clients.
What got you interested in the games industry initially?
I’ve always been interested, but it was after being a CM in fashion tech that I started to see how many roles were appropriate for my skill set in games! I was rejected from the 1st role I applied to, & my devastation made me realise how much I wanted to work in this sector.
Taya - What advice would you give someone wanting to get into games marketing?
Get involved in communities you’re excited about, watch what the developers are doing, and look to things like @intogamesHQ for a bit of support!
A lot of your previous roles focused on Marketing and Client Strategy. How did you know that this was the area you wanted to pursue?
As with most things in my life, it sort of just shook out like that. I did my PhD in communications, marketing was the best fit from there. I’ve now broadened focus to Biz Dev. Marketing will always have a special place in my heart, but it’s also nice to see the bigger picture!
Robot Teddy is a relatively new company to the games industry. Can you tell us a bit about who Robot Teddy are and what they do?
Always a hard question to answer because we tailor the service so much to different clients! Broadly, Biz dev consultancy. We can either be hands on, getting stuck in to things like production and hiring and managing relationships, or hands off in a more advisory capacity
Max - What is your role like now, and how does it differ from your previous marketing position?
There are some similarities, in that I’m still working with clients, and for some of those clients I do talk with them about marketing, but I’m much more in an advisory role now. I also get to look at things totally separate to marketing, like business plans and pitches
You recently joined the team at Robot Teddy as a consultant. What kind of responsibilities come with being a consultant and how have you found it?
I’m really enjoying the variety. Consultants can be a really useful 3rd party who can look at a situation from a new perspective, and connect the big picture individual devs may not see because we get to speak to so many people! You have to have a cool head under pressure
Max - How was that transition? Was it difficult to be a little more 'hands-off'?
Haha in some ways I’m much more hands on than I was before. I get to see a lot more in terms of game development, which is super exciting. Because I was a strategist before it isn’t TOO much of a jump, but I definitely felt like my brain was exploding with new info for a while!
What are some of the first things you do when creating a marketing strategy for a game?
Any good strategist should start with lots of listening to the developers. You need to really understand their game, goals, timelines and so on. Only when you have all those pieces in place can you make progress on the overall strategy.
Alongside your day job, you were a mentee through the @LBMentorship. How has your experience with Limitbreak been?
Awesome (shout out to @studioanisa for organising it!). I’ve had some phenomenal mentors, I was paired with the lovely @Absintheuse last year and now I’m mentored by the wonderful @willlowther I recommend LB to anyone who can apply!
Lisa Schaeffer - How did you end up making the decision to do consultancy?
It was more that I thought @robot_teddy seemed like an awesome place to work, and that’s what we do! and I had a bunch of chats with @DevRelCallum and realised it sounded like something I would really enjoy
What advice do you have for someone considering joining a mentorship program as a mentor or a mentee?
Look for someone you personally gel with as well as someone who is a career fit! You’ll not get anywhere if you don’t get along
Marketing can mean pitching a lot of ideas to a lot of different people. It can take confidence to fight for your ideas. Do you have advice on how to adapt to differences of opinion?
I think the best way to frame any work based difference of opinion in games is that you’re all aiming for the best outcome for the game. Even if you disagree on how to get there, it’s important to keep sight of that shared goal!
Taya - What things do you look for when scouting for potential partner games?
That depends what we’d be scouting for! I do work on some scouting for third parties, and in those cases it’s a specific brief we’ve been given for what they want. If you mean how does Robot Teddy choose clients, that’s much more about the whole studio than any one title.
Do you feel a shift in your working relationship with Devs as a consultant compared to your in-house/agency/freelance experience? (Pick any that applies)
It’s more just that they can ask me about a wider range of things now! I joke that we’re like the department store in miracle on 34th st- if we don’t have it, we’ll find it for you!
What has been the most rewarding aspect about joining the games industry?
My younger relatives finally think I’m cool!
Thank you so much again to Melissa Chaplin for spending time with us. If you want more from Melissa, be sure to follow her on Twitter.
Join us this Thursday for another Twitter Q&A!