Curve Digital product manager George Morgan explains his role at the indie games publisher.
So, what does your job involve?
A bit of everything, really. Largely, it’s a lot of planning and executing of marketing plans, PR strategising, speaking to agencies with regards to advertising opportunities, maximising the return on investment of the marketing budget, speaking to platform holders, a whole lot of coffee and contemplation - cheers, Stranger Things - and handling challenges should they arise.
What are your main responsibilities?
A bit like the above, I ensure that the product appears on launch day with everything that needs to go with it, so all the store text and images, ensuring the marketing plan is being executed correctly; making sure that everything is where it should be. I view myself as a bit of an orchestral conductor, you have to make sure the right parts are moving at the right time to make sure you capture as many people’s eye as possible.
How did you get your job?
In entire honesty, luck!
I came from a retail background, working at Gamestation when it was still a name before GAME bought them out, then I moved on to SEGA QA which was my first real eye-opening: "Whoah, this is how games are made” job which was really great, then I moved on to a porting house called Feral Interactive who do brilliant triple-A porting from console to Apple products, which again opened my eyes to how ports are made.
From there, I graduated to the lovely folk at Sold Out, who are masters of the boxed world and gave me huge insight in to lead times, budgets, selling in to retail among many things, and now I’m dug in deep at Curve Digital product managing my heart out on some really exciting titles. A lot of the jobs I’ve had are through positive word of mouth about me which I’m forever grateful for, belief in what a person is capable of means just as much as a CV, in my opinion.
What special skills or qualifications did you need?
I’d love to give you my huge list of PHDs and MAs, but I have none. Fundamentally, you need to understand video games, play many video games, notice trends in the industry. I’ve always found just talking to people is extremely useful, the insight of others can often lead to another path of thinking which can be beneficial so generally being a people person is great.
What new skills have you had to learn for this role?
For this role specifically, I’ve learned to work in a more agile way as digital doesn’t require the lead time of a physical product. Also, a wise man once told me to pick up the phone more often instead of emailing, and learning to do that - still - is super useful. Timeline management is something that you’re constantly learning too, and at Curve I product manage all products, so this has massively helped me improve my timeline management.
Describe a normal day. What do you do?
Every day is a new challenge, so there isn’t really anything I do every day, but catching up with everyone internally every day I find almost vital as it helps put everyone on the same page, whether that be from upper management, finance, in-house producers or QA.
What are the best and worst parts of your role?
I got two parts that I love the most, being the team that I work with, and game release day. The team here are all so good at what they do, and if it wasn’t for the effort that everyone puts in, then I’d be a wreck in a corner somewhere! Game release days are always special to me too, no matter how many years, or how many games come out, or anything particular happening that year, on a game release day there’s some kind of electricity in the air that makes it a great day, albeit a nervous one.
There aren’t really any worst parts of my role at all, I’ve tried to eliminate the word 'problem' from my vocabulary, and everything is simply a challenge that needs to be overcome.
What tips would you give to someone applying for a similar position?
Apply. Simply apply. It’s shocking how often I hear: “I didn’t apply for it” or: “Nah, I don’t have the qualifications". If you don’t apply you’ve no idea what might come from it, and should you be hit with a rejection letter, always seek to learn from it. Also, speak to those who do the same role as more often than not they’ll have a great idea of what will be asked.
This piece is part of our New Year New Job coverage for the start of 2018. If you want to get in touch to share your insight, email [email protected].