Mobile advertising company Liftoff has invited inspirational women working on some of the biggest mobile games to discuss their achievements, challenges and future aspirations. This time the focus is on Laura Savickaite, a Communication Specialist at Nordcurrent.
Laura Savickaite has always been a gamer but never imagined getting a job in the games industry. That’s why she calls her position at Nordcurrent, a mobile game studio she joined last year, the “dream job.” Being paid to work with games was something she never thought possible, yet she suddenly had the opportunity to market highly-successful games with millions of players like Cooking Fever and Pocket Styler.
Much of the shock stemmed from the early days of her career. “I was always told that I shouldn't pursue a career in video games,” Savickaite explains. “Those older than me said that video games are for children and that it doesn't make sense to build a career around them.”
Savickaite believed the naysayers, putting her games industry career ambitions on hold to pursue a career in marketing as a copywriter instead. She studied creative industries at university before writing voiceovers and scripts for a popular YouTube channel—a role that taught her how to capture the audience’s attention in just a few words.
I was always told that I shouldn't pursue a career in video gamesLaura Savickaite
Around two years ago, Savickaite decided it was time to give a career in gaming a go. “I just thought, ‘Why am I doing something I don't really want to do when I could just go and do what I like?’” Savickaite says. “I started searching online, and that’s how I came across Nordcurrent.
“I checked their career opportunities, but they had nothing for me. They were looking for programmers and other development roles rather than anything to do with marketing. I wrote them a letter saying I thought I would be a great asset to the team. I got a response within about three days.”
Keeping players engaged using social media
So what is Savickaite up to as a copywriting-focused Communication Specialist? Well, she spends a large portion of her time keeping in close contact with Nordcurrent’s players. She offers a helping hand through the studio’s social media platforms to ensure everyone enjoys the studio’s portfolio of games equally. Currently, her focus is on hospital management sim Happy Clinic.
She also creates monthly content plans that keep players updated with the latest events coming down the line. That includes creating engaging posts for social media and writing blog content for the Nordcurrent website. Savickaite also writes all the app store copy, such as product descriptions.
“We have a dedicated platform that I use to see all the messages we receive on our social media pages, and I reply to every one of them,” Savickaite explains. “That's part of the job that I like because I love helping players, like when they're stuck somewhere. When they don't know how to pass a level or have some kind of issue in-game, I love assisting them.
“Sometimes we also get praises, and I’ll reply to those messages too. It’s useful to ask players what they particularly liked so we can use that feedback in the future, and we’ll send them a gift as thanks for being such loyal players and communicating with us.”
I wrote them a letter saying I thought I would be a great asset to the team. I got a response within about three days.Laura Savickaite
Savickaite is also responsible for reputational management, responding to user reviews across various storefronts. Players often use user reviews to vent their frustrations, especially if they’ve gotten stuck in a complex game area. Here, Savickaite steps in to help alleviate their problems by offering advice or pointing them toward further support—something Savickaite wouldn’t be able to do if she wasn’t a huge fan of Nordcurrent games herself.
“Usually, the problems our players encounter are the same ones I’ve faced myself, so I can tell them precisely from my own playing experience how to progress,” she explains. “Occasionally, someone will have a rare issue I’m unfamiliar with, so I’ll contact the development team directly.
“The main thing to remember when communicating with players is to keep things casual rather than formal. They will understand an explanation better if we use the language they’re familiar with, rather than overloading them with technical information.”
Overcoming community management challenges
In today’s era of constant live service updates, the occasional hiccup is bound to happen in a game’s lifecycle, even with rigorous testing. Savickaite’s experience has taught her that having a crisis management strategy in place for these challenging moments is invaluable.
Savickaite recalls one incident where a game she worked on received an update that appeared to wipe certain players' progress. A fix was quickly deployed, but as you might expect, players were outraged when all their saved data mysteriously disappeared.
“In one hour, we got over two thousand private messages from players,” Savickaite says. “It was challenging to reply to everyone and calm them down. By assuring players that our technical team was working hard on a fix, we kept things calm while we waited out the storm.”
With so many different tasks keeping her busy, the other challenging aspect of Savickaite’s role is time management.
“I have a lot of interests,” Savickaite explains. “I like to manage our community. I enjoy copywriting and occasionally still provide voiceovers and scripts for some of our games. I want to do many different things, but only have the capacity for so much, and often have to choose carefully.”
The experience of being a woman in gaming
According to Ukie, just 28% of the games industry workforce in the UK is female, with similar numbers reported across the globe. Even so, Savickaite only has positive things to say about her experience in the industry these past few years.
Savickaite also points out the gender diversity at Nordcurrent as a whole, particularly in their senior management team—including their CEO, Victoria Trofimova, and Head of Digital Marketing, Gintare Slezaite. Perhaps that’s fitting, as most of Nordcurrent’s mobile games target female audiences, particularly the fashion-focused Pocket Styler.
“I’ve personally never had any problems relating to my gender,” Savickaite says. “Maybe in the past, these issues were more common, but my experience has been that if you are going to work hard, you can definitely prove your skills and achieve anything you set your mind to.
“Many people think you need to be a gamer to work in this industry. That might be the case for me, but I think that the most important thing for anyone, regardless of their gender, is to have that drive to make games. You have to be passionate about creating something millions will love.”