Emma Delage – Interview

INTERVIEW

Emma Delage – Associate Producer, Ubisoft

Re-published in English by kind permission of

Recruitment Platform Gaming Jobs

The History

Emma Delage was previously Ubisoft’s Community Manager with Ubisoft for Ghost Recon Wildlands. It is this capacity that I had the pleasure of meeting Emma on more than one occasion, in more than one country over the past few years.

During these meetings it was clear Emma was passionate about games, and  passionate about providing a working, constructibe, and cohesive link between Ghost Recon fans and the Ghost Recon Dev team. Support for this initiative came right from the top – Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft CEO.

More recently Emma was promoted to Associate Producer with Ubisoft, and French site gaming-jobs reached out to Emma for an interview. It was such an interesting read that we contact gaming-jobs and requested permission to re-publish in English, so you can all enjoy this interview!

FIRST EMMA, CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOUR JOURNEY?

I knew since I was 12 that I wanted to work in video games. I developed this passion by watching the Game One channel and also by my parents refusing to buy a console for my sisters and me. This created a kind of frustration that I converted into a passion for video games. Game One made me aware of the industry and its news.

When choosing my college / high school options, I knew I wanted to work in the industry, but I did not know what to do exactly. So, as I was also passionate about Japanese animation, I started to study Japanese and told myself that I could become a “localization project manager”. In the third year of Applied Foreign Languages, I discovered marketing and I really loved this subject. So I went for a Master 1 in Strategy and Marketing, then a Master 2 dedicated to Innovative Technologies. I was able to do a first internship in the industry as Community Manager for a studio called OUAT Entertainment that produced Facebook games. This confirmed my passion for the sector. I had the chance to do my last year studies internship as a Press Relations Assistant at Square Enix France.

These two internships allowed me to understand that what I liked above all, it was to exchange with the people, and to bring them satisfaction. I got my first real job at Ubisoft in 2014, as Community Developer. I had the opportunity to work on the Raving Rabbids, Just Dance, and for 3 years on Ghost Recon Wildlands. Today, I changed roles. I am now Associate Producer at Ubisoft Paris, and I am working on a game still unannounced.

WHAT WAS YOUR ROLE AS COMMUNITY DEVELOPER WITH UBISOFT DURING THOSE 4 YEARS?

As Community Developer, my role was to be the link between the game development team and the player community. I managed a team of Community Managers around the world to gather feedback from the community, and create communication strategies for our most engaged players.

To do this, there are two aspects in this job: the first is to identify the needs of the community, and to transmit them to the development team via analysis of the conversations of the players on the various community channels (Forums, Reddit , Discord, Facebook, Twitter …), and going so far as to bring fans from around the world to the studio to meet the team during a multi-day workshop.

The second aspect of this job is the opposite: it is to define how we will communicate to fans the latest news on the game. To do this, I worked hand in hand with marketing teams and devs to define a communication schedule dedicated to the community. In this context, I had the opportunity to produce several videos Behind the Scenes where I interviewed developers, organized masterclasses at E3, to be the presenter livestreams on Twitch … It was a really exciting job!

WHAT COMPETENCES DOES THIS POST REQUIRE ON A DAY TO DAY BASIS?

To be a good Community Developer, you must of course be a player yourself and ideally have been involved in an online community. This makes it easier to understand the expectations of the players and to define relevant communication strategies. Being a good communicator is also very important because you have to discuss and negotiate with different types of trades: producers, programmers, artists, product managers, PR … and fans of course.

It is also a job that requires great autonomy, because in the end, this is where the ComDev defines what will happen for the community. You have to be able to design and carry out projects to the end, and often alone. Creativity, project management, and passion for video games in general are key assets to succeed in this business.

WHAT INFORMATION IS COLLECTED BY THE COMMUNITY DEVELOPERS?

The aim is to improve the games they work on first!

Being ComDev means being a spokesperson for the community within the development team. It is she or he who is the best placed to defend the wishes of the community and try to implement them in the game. Of course, it is necessary to have enough common sense to propose to the dev team relevant suggestions.

For example, it would be out of the question to put tutus in a Ghost Recon! Their knowledge of player communities and being present in the development studio allows ComDevs to be a key part of the production team.

Secondly, the information gathered also makes it possible to develop strategies. We collect statistical data, we analyze the comments of the players, we learn what the game has to offer, and from these elements, we build a relevant communication strategy, and we need the developers to adapt the content features they develop

WHAT IS THE LATEST NEWS ON GHOST RECON WILDLANDS?

We recently announced a second year of content for Ghost Recon Wildlands.

Year 2 started strong, with a special mission with Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell that was very successful! There are still three updates coming up with new missions and new features based on community requests.

I’m happy that we have been able to develop a game with a team that listens to the demands of players, and it will continue!

WHY DID YOU CHANGE TO ASSOCIATE PRODUCER AT UBISOFT?

It is first of all a personal choice. After four years as a ComDev, I just wanted to discover a new job. I am someone who loves learning and discovering new things, and I wanted to be able to develop my project management skills. Also, this new position allows me to be even more at the heart of the development team, to manage two teams and to participate concretely in the development effort. It’s a wonderful opportunity.

Currently I learn every day and I am surrounded by talented and passionate developers. I cannot wait to talk more about the game we’re working on!

FINALLY: THE FUNCTION OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPER SEEMS TO MIX MANAGER, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS. WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO A CANDIDATE APPLYING FOR THIS POST TO EMPHASISE THESE VARIOUS CROSS-CURRENT SKILLS DURING A RECRUITMENT INTERVIEW?

I would say to them that one must think beyond their acquired knowledge of marketing or community management. The ComDev is a strategist first and foremost, focusing on the long term, and thinking about what he or she can do to grow (in every sense of the word) their community.

It’s really the community that is at the center of everything. If an interviewee tells me that he or she wants to create give aways on Facebook to win fans, then that person still needs maturity on how they view community development. Similarly, if this person is trying to “make the buzz”, or is focused on the sales numbers; in this case they are too focused on marketing outright.

Being a ComDev is a very human profession, which requires going beyond the beaten track and constantly innovating, just like the industry in which it evolves. If you are interested in this job, Ubisoft regularly recruits Community Developers around the world. Do not hesitate to visit the recruitment page!

Author: Rocky

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