Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2019 will take place on October 1st to October 2nd. To give you a taste of what to expect, we'll regularly be publishing interviews with the speakers at the show.
For more details on PGC Helsinki and to book a ticket, head to the website here.
In this speaker spotlight we caught up with Zsuzsa James. Zsuzsa is responsible for the coordination, planning, implementation, future watch / innovation policy and reporting of Team Finland activities in the domains of games, Esports & technology covering 13 Western states of the US. Previously she worked in the games, edu tech and advertising spaces in Finland, in roles ranging from design, through project management to marketing.
At Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2019 she'll be part of a panel discussing funding strategies.
PocketGamer.biz: Could you tell us a bit about your company?
Zsuzsa James: I work for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, with a mandate to support trade relations between Finland and the US.
What does your role entail?
I specifically work with the Finnish games and eSports sectors, and provide them with market intelligence, advice, and connections in the US.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
I've been a gamer all my life, and it's a passion that permeates everything that I do. At some point in my career I was forced to take a break from the industry, and it was a surefire way to be miserable. I rejoined games eventually, and haven't looked back since.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
Figure out what aspect of the industry interests you; there are way more varied positions than you might imagine. Then just start doing it in your free time; design, create art, code, do review videos, think up marketing campaigns; show your prospective employers that you have the drive to succeed, or if you want to setup your own studio.. well, then you'll need that drive even more!
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
Game streaming is on everyone's lips right now, so I've been following closely how the big players are trying to take their shots at it.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
5g and streaming will continue to take hold, and there'll be a lot of upsets and rumblings of new business models emerging.
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
I started at Digital Chocolate back in 2006, so it has changed quite a lot. Mobile gaming was in its infancy, and the amount of options gamers have these days was unheard of. We are truly spoiled for choice these days, although I'm a bit weary of the risk aversion of larger studios churning out one sequel after the next. It feels like we had more daring and unique games BACK IN MY DAYS.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
My panel, but also catching up with my former Finnish colleagues and seeing what's cooking in Finland right now.