Speaker Spotlight: Gameloft's Renee Wong on pushing your team without crunching them

The communication specialist talks us through her talk at PGC Toronto, and how you can create a healthy work environment in games

Speaker Spotlight: Gameloft's Renee Wong on pushing your team without crunching them

Our return to Canada for Pocket Gamer Connects Toronto is just concluding, and we had some of the biggest names in the industry joining us!

It is our second time in Canada, and we returned to the dynamic, diverse city of Toronto for an even bigger and better conference after the massively successful debut of PG Connects Toronto 2022. Attendees from the global games industry gathered in Toronto to network, discover, pitch and learn from the world’s leading authorities. We brought together a true cross-section of the games industry, from fresh-faced indie designers to experienced CEOs and investors.

The conference took in everything: Android and iOS, hot AI trends, PC and console, Web3, VR/AR and more, all across multiple track rooms. Our speakers and panellists shared their expert insight into design and development, monetization and growth, new technologies, company culture and loads more.

We had a star-studded speaker lineup featuring the best of the best and some of the biggest names in the games industry present at our Toronto conference, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to share with you a deeper look into some of those stellar personalities. Each speaker is a powerhouse trailblazing presence in the games industry within their own right.

We spoke with Gameloft Toronto's Renee Wong,  who is one of the company's Communication Specialists. They spoke as part of our Avoiding Pitfalls: Getting the Most From Your Team in a Healthy Way panel, as part of our Company Culture Track. Please give us a summary of what you spoke about and why it’s important

Wong: Having a healthy and happy work environment matters and should be top of mind for every company, big or small. Employees that enjoy their place of work are less likely to be absent and stressed while being more productive, more engaged and less likely to burn out. Which ultimately benefits the bottom line for everyone. That’s why it’s important to understand how to create a positive work culture to get the most out of your team, and so your team can get the most out of their work culture and continue to grow.

What is the most overhyped trend from the last 12 months - and why?

How businesses will continue to adapt to current or new work models moving forward. At Gameloft Toronto, we provide our employees with an office and the equipment to work however they believe is best for them. We’ve even introduced new benefits, such as our transportation subsidy, to make it easier to transition from home to office if desired.

For us, this has worked exceptionally well as our employees have the autonomy to decide what works best for them. Recently, we've found more employees making plans to meet up at the studio to more efficiently collaborate and bond in-person in a way that is impossible to replicate through a computer monitor. Of course, every company and their workforce is different and I'm curious to see if other companies are seeing the same trends we are and how they are approaching them moving forward.

Is hypercasual gaming here to stay?

Absolutely. There are so many different types of gamers out there and hypercasual gamers are one of the biggest audiences for our industry. The barrier to entry is low, which makes it easy for anyone to pick up a hypercasual game and play however they want, from a few minutes to a couple of hours.

Tell us your thoughts on Cross-platform games

Several game companies are getting into the cross-platform games route recently, which has been great to see! Not only does it provide a better experience for players by offering them more choices in how they want to play, but it also makes these games more accessible by catering to what platforms they already have or prefer to play on. Gameloft is a great example of a company that has done cross-platform games in the past, such as experimenting on the Nintendo DS, and currently has a number of games available on mobile, console and PC such as Disney Magic Kingdoms, Asphalt 9: Legends, SongPop Party and The Oregon Trail.