Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #6 takes place from April 19th to 23rd, so to give you a taste of what to expect, we'll bring you interviews with some of our esteemed speakers at the show.
The conference spans five days and will feature a broad selection of tracks, talks and speakers, as well as various fringe events and the return of our meeting system. For more details on the event and to book a ticket, head to the website.
For today's spotlight, we spoke with Activision product manager Antanina Livingston who has over seven years of experience in games and is currently a product manager with Activision, managing the planning and implementation team within Call of Duty: mobile live operations (Live Ops).
At PGC Digital #6, Livingston will speak on 'How and Where to Start Career in Live Ops'.
PocketGamer.biz: Tell us a bit about your company?
Antanina Livingston: Activision Blizzard connects and engages the world through epic entertainment.
We delight hundreds of millions of monthly active users around the world through franchises, including Activision’s Call of Duty and Crash Bandicoot, Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft, Overwatch, Hearthstone, Diablo and StarCraft®, as well as King's Candy Crush, Bubble Witch and Farm Heroes.
Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, Activision Blizzard has operations throughout the world.
What does your role entail?
As product manager for Call of Duty: Mobile live operations, we’re running day-to-day operations of the game, working closely with a wider group to drive its performance.
Live ops will most likely become more sophisticated with more segmentation and data-based decision making.Antanina Livingston
I’m overseeing the planning and implementation of all in-game events, promotions and offers, working closely with other product managers and analysts to do deep-dive analyses and experiments to optimise and improve how we manage live ops. I also help identify areas of opportunity, and partner with our roadmap team to design new live ops-oriented features.
Why did you want to work in the games industry?
I’ve always been an avid gamer, but besides that, I was looking for a creative, fast-paced environment that never had 'routine' work and always provided new challenges and issues to brainstorm and find solutions for.
Moreover, you’ll never find such a nice working environment as that which you have in games.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into it?
Don’t be discouraged to join, even if you don’t have a tech or game design background.
There are always many opportunities to start your career in gaming and then learn a new position/profession; even if that’s at a junior level; there are always ways to join and grow from there.
What are your thoughts on the industry in the last 12 months?
For many industries the worldwide lockdown was devastating, but the games industry actually saw quite a boost.
Games became more social and more and more developers learned new ways on how to engage people and provide more entertainment to them in their homes. Concerts, movies, collaborations inside the games – we saw many great examples of those last year.
This year will be also quite challenging in terms of the remote work environment, but more and more companies will find even better ways to transform their business model and extend their reach to talents across the globe.
What major trends do you predict in the next 12 months?
It’ll be interesting to see how the industry adapts to new IDFA changes, but I see a lot of potential for transformation there.
Live ops will most likely become more sophisticated with more segmentation and data-based decision making. Platforms will continue to optimise their performance and personalization. I believe UGG will see growth, too.
How has the games industry changed since you first started?
Back in 2014 when I first joined the gaming industry, I don’t think people treated it as a serious profession still. The fact that we could play games at work shocked people. There were not even that many academic courses specialising in game development.
But now, more and more people realize how cool it is and many kids are dreaming of working for their favourite titles. I also think that knowledge-sharing and room for professional growth have expanded and become much wider.
Which part of the Connects event are you most looking forward to and why?
Live ops, as always! I love to hear the insights from all the experts in the industry, as well as share some thoughts on the field myself
The full conference schedule is now live on the website. In the meantime, you can also check out our other track rundowns and coverage of previous Pocket Gamer Connects conferences ahead of the event itself.