Game Careers recently spoke with Ubisoft’s Alex Hutchinson at GDC in San Francisco, where he spoke on an Assassin’s Creed III panel, covering project collaboration. Alex is currently the creative director on Assassin’s Creed III at Ubisoft Montreal. Previously, he was creative director at EA Montreal on Army of Two: The 40th Day. Alex was also at Maxis in California, where he was the lead designer on Spore (PC), The Sims 2 (PS2, GC, XB), and co-lead designer on The Urbz: Sims in the City (PS2, GC, XB). He has written on games for magazines such as Edge, Games(tm), PC Zone, PlayNation, and The Official PS2 Magazine, among others. Alex has spoken on games at DICE in Las Vegas, GDC in San Francisco, E3 in Los Angeles and the Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany.
In Alex’s exclusive interview with Game Careers for the Thought Leader series, he recommends Montreal as a place to work in games, plus offers this career advice: “If you’re just starting out, I could not overestimate the boon of having an understanding of engineering. If you can code as a designer, this is a huge plus, something that is getting more and important, especially if you’re interested in both the AAA, large development studios and more independent, smaller-scale studios. The more things you can do, the better!”
Interactive Selection, the game industry’s first and only global game recruitment firm, confirmed the opening of their new North American division, headed by senior game staffing professional, Fiona Cherbak. Cherbak will be serving as Director of U.S. Operations for the agency.
Cherbak will support the talent acquisition needs of current Interactive Selection clients, while identifying and driving new business and strategic partner relationships in the U.S. and Canada. She will provide career development opportunities for job candidates in the North American market, as well as in foreign territories.
David Smith, managing director of Interactive Selection, states, “We already represent a global marketplace in the games space, but recognize the need to better support our existing clients by reaching out to a deeper community of qualified job candidates in North America. By establishing an on-the-ground presence there, we have access to a broad swath of both candidates and clients. And there was no question that Fiona Cherbak was the right person to put this objective in place for our firm. We are looking forward to having a bigger presence across the U.S. and Canada.”
Cherbak has worked in the games industry as a staffing professional for over 10 years, and previously as senior international recruiter for Disney Feature Animation. She has developed and implemented candidate strategies and recruiting campaigns for a broad cross-section of top game clients such as Activision, Disney, Electronic Arts, LucasArts, NCsoft, Sony and THQ. Cherbak has been a regular speaker at GDC’s Game Career Seminar series around the U.S., plus a five-year advisory board member and speaker at SXSW Screenburn/SXSW Interactive.
Cherbak is currently co-producer of Boston Festival of Indie Games, and has provided production and publicity support to indie game events IndieCade and Fantastic Arcade. She is former chairperson for IGDA Women in Games SIG, and a former committee chair for Women in Games International. She was previously Senior Staffing Specialist for Irrational Games and Senior Talent Acquisition Manager for Tencent Boston.
Based on a 16-year history serving over 200 clients around the world, Interactive Selection is a market-leading global search and recruitment company in games and interactive entertainment. Based in London , and offering a network of offices to support the hiring needs of their diverse clientele, Interactive Selection develops and maintains a vast community of qualified candidates through its extensive online presence, including social media, news groups, bulletin boards and trade events.
If you are a member of LinkedIn, you can now get together with others who share the same interests. Over 6000 games developers have joined this group since its launch in February 2010. See who you know is already in the group.
Canada is the third most successful video game industry in the world.Even with access to some of the world’s best talent pool, Canada needs more talent from overseas. It’s a great place to make video games says the Entertainment Software Association of Canada!
Stephane D’Astous, GM at Eidos & Square Enix Montreal met with David Smith of Game Careers and Interactive Selection at the Montreal Interernational Games Summit ( MIGS) in Montreal in November 2010. His studio is making Deux Ex -Human Revolution. His advice for job seekers looking to apply for a job with his studio is: “To be persistent, to be passionate! In fact over three years we have received 15,000 CV’s through the internet, so we do look out for great talent day after day. Great talent doesn’t mean necessarily guys with 15-20 years of experience. We want good fresh talent that can bring a different point of view to the team. We want obviously talented and passionate people. We need to be patient when we try to enter the video game industry. It is not easy, but persistence is certainly something people need to have because once you’ve cracked the door you will want to stay in the industry.” See the full interview in the video that follows:
Suzanne Boutin, Director of Staffing, and Louis Pierre Pharand, Transmedia Producer on Assassins Creed Movies, from the world’s largest studio Ubisoft, Montreal met with David Smith of Game Careers and Interactive Selection at the Montreal Interernational Games Summit ( MIGS) in Montreal in November 2010. Their advice for job seekers looking to apply for a job with Ubisoft is: Suzanne: “For any job seeker, I think it is important that people are true to themselves and what they are passionate about and what they can do and start from there. You have to do what you love and the rest will follow. In terms of getting into the game industry, you have to work hard at getting your portfolio and getting out to the events to meet people, networking and just grow that way.”
For LP Pharand: “Do everything to get your chance. That chance might be in an interview, that chance might be like Suzanne explained really well is to go to MGS (Montreal Game Summit), going to places likes that (game conferences) and meeting people who are the professionals. Go and ask questions try to know more about the industry. When doing the networking online where you can connect with professionals where they can help you out. It might be that same person that might be able to give you that chance, and that chance might be an interview. But once you get the chance, it is for you to grasp it and take it and it is your time to shine. You become the salesman of your expertise and it’s that opportunity you need to take.” Ubisoft Montreal is an Interactive Selection client. See the full interview in the clip below.
I am pleased to anounce that Aurelie Busollo who spent 2 years working as HR & Communication Manager for Ubisoft Pune in India has now joined Interactive Selection as a Consultant based in the London office. Taking over from Lylia Seddiki, she will be managing the relationship with all clients and job seekers in Montreal. Aurelie is a graduate of the AUDENCIA Nantes, School of Management and spent 2 years in India working for Ubisoft under the VIE programme. She helped build the Ubisoft studio in Pune to 160 professional staff as Head of the HR department. An experienced HR professional with excellent recruiting skills, she has recently moved to London to develop her career in the games industry. Job seekers may contact her directly on aurelie AT interactiveselection .com
Sebastian Enrique, Software Engineer at Electronics Arts in Vancouver, Canada talks to David Smith of Interactive Selection and Game Careers at Gamescom in Germany. It’s been 5+ years since Sebastian started working on the EA Sports FIFA football franchise as a software engineer and game designer. In all that time, he has introduced new concepts and innovative features in the franchise like the Emotional Engine, Player Reactions, Be A Pro, Be A Goalkeeper, and Creation Centre. His advice for people thinking of applying for a job at EA Canada: “I’ll give one piece of advice in general, not just for EA but for several. You will get “walled” over and over and over, but eventually you will have the opportunity. Never give up, that’s the fist thing I will tell you. Second for EA Sports, go to www.easports.com/jobs – there are the job listings there. We will take those and read them seriously.” See the full clip here:
Damir Slogar, Chief Executive at Big Blue Bubble talks to David Smith of Interactive Selection and Game Careers in Lyon. His advice on working for Big Blue Bubble:
“Try to do something extraordinary: if you are an artist make sure your portfolio shows your very best work. You don’t have to send much but send your best work. Don’t apply without sending your portfolio linked to it. If you are a programmer your experience and both your education are of equal value when our company is selecting candidates. If you don’t have much experience in the industry we are really appreciative of everything you do on your own, your own games that you did at home, small games – it will really help you get a job.”