David Westerman left behind a career in the audit world to join the games industry, as the online marketing manager for strategy games specialist Bytro.
Westerman is speaking at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #7 about the company's use of TikTok as a marketing platform for its decidedly non-casual games.
We spoke to Westerman about his experience in the games industry so far and his thoughts on the forthcoming event.
PocketGamer.biz: Can you tell us more about Bytro?
David Westerman: At Bytro, we are passionate about developing and publishing unique strategy games. Based in Hamburg’s city centre, we are an innovative and driven team of 50 people drawn from around the world. We currently have over 15 different nationalities in our team, which give it a truly international atmosphere.
Every day, we strive to develop high-quality strategy games and make them accessible for all players around the world. In our eyes, game development is a promise for fun and entertainment - that’s what we live and aim for.
What's your role within the company?
As an online marketing manager, I’m in charge of paid media user acquisition and app store optimisation (ASO) efforts for our games, with a focus on our World War II themed title, Call of War.
We have a very dynamic and fluid team structure though, so it is common for us to work on other games with different advertising platforms.
You don’t have to be a game designer or a developer to enter the industry.David Westerman
Why did you want to join the games industry?
There were two main reasons I wanted to get into games:
- The emotional one - like most of the people that you find in this industry, I'm incredibly passionate about games. It is always a great day when you wake up and have to work in an environment that you love.
- The logical one - this industry is not only one of the fastest-growing in the world at the moment, but it is also one of the most dynamic, where innovation happens so often that its standards constantly change. You will never be bored!
What advice would you give to someone interested in working in the games industry?
You don’t have to be a game designer or a developer to enter the industry. Gaming companies have tons of different needs - marketing, art, human resources… even accounting. Play to your strengths and find your place in a company that needs your specific set of skills. If you have doubts about joining the industry or not, give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed!
What has happened to the global industry over the last 12 months?
We can’t talk about the last 12 months without talking about the global pandemic that changed absolutely everything about our lives. And even though a big portion of industries struggled badly, the games industry actually thrived during this period. With everyone stuck at home, games were a great source of entertainment, as well as an opportunity to socialise with family and friends.
The pandemic also impacted the way we work and it might never be the same ever again. With so many professionals proving remote work successful, companies are considering not going back to the office, at least not full-time, in order to keep employees happy and even save some costs.
With the IDFA changes finally going live, the whole mobile industry will go through an adaptation period on how to face this new reality.David Westerman
What changes do you see emerging in the industry over the next 12 months?
With the IDFA changes finally going live, the whole mobile industry will go through an adaptation period on how to face this new reality. I think we'll have a bigger focus on live ops with the end goal of increasing retention and bringing back churned players, as well as an increase of collaborations between brands, inside and outside of the gaming world.
How has the games industry changed since you joined?
Battle royales are still a thing! We all thought that would go away, but it is still going strong with games like Apex Legends and Warzone.
I feel like working on games is finally being seen as a serious profession, even though it is by far the biggest entertainment industry in the world. I’m also incredibly happy to see that cross-platform is slowly becoming the standard and people can play with their friends, no matter what their favourite device is.
What part of Pocket Gamer Connects are you most looking forward to?
Learn and get inspired by the amazing presentations and panels!
David Westerman is just one of more than 250 incredible speakers taking part in Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #7, which takes place online from July 12th to 16th 2021.
Find out more and book your ticket now.