The Finance Corner of the BVG Equation

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Our series of Viking Profiles aims to shed some light on the some of the lesser-known roles in the gaming industry. Today we’re talking with Viking Lydia to learn more about what it’s like to be a Senior Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis at Big Viking Games.

Q: What is your role at Big Viking Games, and how long have you been with the company?

Lydia: I have worked at Big Viking Games (BVG) for almost 2 years in the role of Senior Manager of Financial Planning and Analysis (FP&A).

Q: What does a Senior Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis do at a games company?

Lydia: My role has multiple components. I lead the annual budgeting process, the monthly forecasting process, and I am responsible for monthly and weekly management reporting and analysis. In addition, I am the finance lead to support the business departments and it is my focus to gather and analyze data which would provide important insights to the company. These insights then give us a picture of our current and future financial health as well as to continuously maintain the budget and forecasting models. I also support the accounting month-end close process and work on any specially requested projects or ad-hoc analysis.

“The better and more accurately we can forecast, the more robust we will become as a business.”

 

Q: What does an average day look like for you?

Lydia: My days vary. During month end there are specific activities towards generating reports, adding commentary, and preparing them to distribute to stakeholders. After Accounting closes the books, I am responsible for summarizing the financial position for the last month, the current quarter, and the year to date.

Other times when managers or groups need information, I gather the financials of their special request or I may do a slide deck with analysis to support their project. I’m hoping in the future, I’ll be able to spend more time doing scenario modelling which means that instead of looking only at the current picture of one business case, we consider some sensitivities and see how that affects a financial model. This way, if one or two variables change, we will foresee how our broader financial picture will change as well. The advantage is that each business will understand how they’re contributing to the company as a whole, and BVG will know which mix of variables will optimize financial performance. The better and more accurately we can forecast, the more robust we will become as a business.

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Life as a Product Marketing Manager at Big Viking Games

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Our series of Viking Profiles aims to shed some light on the some of the lesser-known roles in the gaming industry. Today we’re talking with Viking James to learn more about what it’s like to be a Product Marketing Manager at Big Viking Games.

What is your role at Big Viking Games, and how long have you been with the company?

James: I’ve been with Big Viking Games for over two years as a Product Marketing Manager for two of our titles YoWorld and Fish World.

What does a Product Marketing Manager do at a games company?

James: I work with the rest of the team to promote new features, events, and content that gets released into the game. We also work on the monetization aspects of our games, how to get new and lapsed players playing, and we analyze the team’s decisions to see what worked and what could be improved next time. It’s not all business though. We also do loads of fun things like put together email newsletters for our players, make trailers for exciting new features, produce fun social media content on Facebook, and conduct player feedback surveys which help us determine what our players like as well as what they want to see next.

What does an average day look like for you as a Product Marketing Manager?

James: The first thing I do is look at revenues from the previous day. I look at what went well and what could be improved. The rest of my day is dedicated to a variety of things such as planning for future releases and marketing campaigns, implementing these plans, or doing analysis on past marketing efforts.

“As soon as we started adding incentives like free items for returning, the click-through rates on the ads doubled.”

How did you become a Product Marketing Manager?

James: I went to university for business specializing in marketing. After completing the program, I started out my career as a Product Marketing Analyst at another games company called Magmic. There, I worked on mobile games like New York Times Crossword, Rubik’s Cube, Scattergories, and Apples to Apples. After a year or so I owned the marketing strategy for all of Magmic’s Mattel branded mobile games as their Product Marketing Manager.

How has your career progressed at Big Viking Games?

James: I started at Big Viking Games as a (lonely) team of one. Over time and as responsibilities increased, I was able to grow the team and we have since added six fantastic members across the Marketing and Content Marketing Teams.

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What it Means to be a Producer in Video Games

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Our series of Viking Profiles aims to shed some light on the some of the lesser-known roles in the gaming industry. Today we’re talking with Viking Robyn to learn more about the process behind game production and what, exactly, is produced by a Producer.

What does a Producer do

What is your role at Big Viking Games, and how long have you been with the company?

Robyn: I was hired to be an Associate Producer (on both YoWorld Mobile and Tiny Tappers for Kongregate), and when one of those games wrapped I was transferred to the other full time. After shipping both, I was promoted to Producer.

What does a Producer do at a game company?

Robyn: One the favourite jokes of my developer friends is “a Producer doesn’t actually produce anything!”, which is hilarious to devs, but less funny to Producers. Producers are responsible for making the hard decisions to keep everything on track and make sure a game ships.

The role varies from company to company. I’ve had it be a catch all, where I, as the Producer, did everything except code or draw, including marketing material, community outreach, and social media. I have even been responsible for video editing!

Thankfully at BVG it is a very defined role: managing the team and working with the Product Manager to deliver a game. The Product Manager handles the creative decisions of what goes into the game, and the Producer decides how we execute on that vision, which involves a lot of planning and scheduling of sprints.

So, though a Producer might not produce anything, they do make sure that everyone else is producing on schedule!

“Producers are responsible for making the hard decisions to keep everything on track and make sure a game ships.”

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Want to work in Canada? We want to help!

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Move to Canada work at Big Viking Games

The Big Viking HR team has been receiving a lot of questions from talented professionals located outside of Canada who are interested in joining the horde. Big Viking Games is a proudly Canadian-based company, and a big part of that identity is being welcoming to talent from all over the world. In the hope of answering any questions you might have about immigrating, or what it’s like to live and work in Canada, we’ve put together the following site: Work in Canada

With more than a dozen positions currently open, and plans to hire for many more, we’re eager to hear from you!

Galatron Launches on Facebook Instant Games

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facebook_horizontal_banner001Galatron, BVG’s fast-paced space shooter, launches today on Facebook Messenger’s Instant Games platform.

Galatron puts players in the pilot’s seat of the Valkyrie: a sleek, powerful starfighter with the most advanced weaponry in the fleet. It’s up to you as pilot to blast through waves of alien ships, dodge devastating meteors and battle epic bosses in a quest to save the galaxy. Players can upgrade their weapons, customize their ships and rack up bonuses for obliterating whole waves of invaders as they work to achieve high scores and climb the ranks in order to become the best fighter pilot of all.

Play Galatron HTML5 Instant Gaming Big Viking Games

Galatron coming to Facebook Messenger’s Instant Gaming platform means that you can play the game right now: on any device where you’re already using Facebook messenger. We created the game in HTML5 to make it instantly playable, but another benefit is that you won’t ever have to download, install, or update the game. Just open it on Facebook Messenger, and play!

This is precisely why BVG has invested so many years of work in HTML5 instant gaming. Our CEO and co-founder Albert Lai explains it best:

“Big Viking Games has been at the forefront of HTML5 development, and with Galatron we’re able to really showcase that technology and show what a game on messenger can look like. Galatron has features and gameplay that many thought were impossible in an instant messenger game so we’re excited for players to see that and realize that this is really a viable platform for quality games.”

To play Galatron today:

1. Join any chat in Facebook Messenger

2. Tap the Instant Games icon at the bottom of the chat

How to play Galatron

3. Find Galatron and press PLAY

How to play Galatron

Our official press release on the subject of the the Galatron launch can be found below:

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Valiant Partners with BVG for First Major Content Partnership

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valiant_logo-horizontal

We have some amazing news to share today about our first major content partnership. Big Viking Games has signed a five year mobile content partnership with Valiant Entertainment, the award-winning comic book publisher. As you know, Valiant has a library of more than 2,000 characters, including X-O Manowar, Bloodshot, Harbinger, and Shadowman.

The partnership with Valiant will focus on combining their best-selling collection of superheroes with our own industry leading HTML5 development and publishing ability to deliver the Valiant Universe to existing fans and new players alike through a completely new medium.

Our CEO Albert Lai said it best when commenting on how excited our Vikings are to be working with a leading comic publisher.

“We have always been huge fans of their comics, and the executive team has done an incredible job bringing Valiant to the forefront of the comic world over the years. Valiant and Big Viking share a very similar core ideology, which is to ‘make fans,’ and I believe this partnership will make millions of new fans for both companies”

Valiant Entertainment will be bringing their content to a number of new platforms in the coming years. Just last year Valiant announced a five-film deal with Sony Pictures to bring both their Bloodshot and Harbinger franchises to life on the big screen, and they are looking forward to the promise of the ground-breaking new medium that is instant gaming.

“Big Viking is poised to enter the market on the cusp of a game-changing moment for the whole of mobile gaming and, together, we look forward to engaging a massive new audience for Valiant’s incredibly rich universe of characters,” said Russell A. Brown, President of Consumer Products, Promotions & Ad Sales for Valiant Entertainment.

For full details on the Valiant – Big Viking Games partnership, read on to see our official press release.

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The Life of a Game Designer

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There is a fierce demand for game designers in the gaming industry, but most people are unsure of what, exactly, a game design job entails. To help us better understand this essential role, we sat down with our very talented game designer, Stojan. In this Viking Profile, Stojan shares how he got into game design, what makes a well-designed game, and how aspiring game designers can break into the field.

Game Designer at Big Viking Games Stojan

Q: What is your role at Big Viking Games, and how long have you been with the company?

Stojan: I was hired by BVG as a game designer in February of 2013, so I’ve been with the company for nearly four years now.

“Game Designer” can tend to be a misunderstood role. What does a game designer do?

Stojan: The short answer? A game designer is somebody that creates an experience that succeeds in maintaining the interest of a player for as long as possible, using various game design conventions.

The longer answer is that a Game Designer is the one who is responsible for a game’s core loop and builds out detailed specifications for features in the game. Depending on the type of game, this specification could include an overview of what the effect of certain features will be (short and long term), the proper math, the proper economy balance and impact, and the necessary high-level user experience flows.

The designer also has to verify any features before they are rolled out by ensuring that any new features are consistent with the game’s existing design. And, of course, a successful game designer needs to stay on top of the current trends in game design, particularly Free to Play trends. Read More

Big Viking Games Announces $10 Million Publishing Fund For HTML5 Messenger Instant Games

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HTML Mobile Instant Games

TORONTO and LONDON, ON – (November 29, 2016) – Big Viking Games, the largest independent mobile and social game studio in Canada and a pioneer in HTML5 Messenger Instant Games, is expanding the reach of its HTML5 initiatives today with the creation of a $10 million publishing fund to develop and distribute third-party content for messengers platforms in HTML5.

The Company is a founding launch partner on the Facebook Messenger Instant Gaming platform, and will lead with its addictive space-shooter, Galatron, on the platform on December 15. Along with Big Viking Games’ nearly five years of pioneering research and development in HTML5 messenger game development technology, developers will also have the support of its data science platform from Gallop Labs, a top Facebook awarded data science and marketing automation platform that Big Viking Games acquired earlier this year. With Big Viking Games customized HTML5 development and marketing platform, developers will have access to both cutting edge HTML5 development tools, as well as data science, user acquisition and advanced live operations abilities to create an ideal environment for third-party publishing. Read More

Deloitte Recognizes BVG on Technology Fast 50 and Fast 500 Lists

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Deloitte Fast 50

Big Viking Games has been named by Deloitte to its Technology Fast 50 list, which highlights the fastest growing tech companies in Canada. We have also been named to the Technology Fast 500, which honours the most promising tech organizations across the United States and Canada.

Specifically, Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 and 500 lists recognize the companies with the highest percentage of revenue growth between 2012 and 2015. Big Viking finished with a fantastic 287% growth over that period which placed us at #46 on the Fast 50 list, and #333 on the Fast 500.

As Big Viking Games is still a relatively young company, this is the first year that we have been eligible to win this award. We are honoured to receive this recognition of the strength of our business, alongside the many accolades we’ve achieved in the past for our progressive studio culture. The awards show that not only is Big Viking an amazing place to work, but also that a great culture drives great results. Thank you Vikings for all your hard work!

We’d also like to congratulate all of the other organizations who were recognized. To see a complete list of winners, along with the selection criteria, visit the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 site.

 

Big Viking Games attracts $21.75 million in investment to increase its lead in HTML5 mobile instant games

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blogpostREAD THE OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE

Years of investing in mobile instant gaming using HTML5 are paying off for Big Viking Games. We have received $21.75 million in funding so far to support our strategic initiatives, and we’re planning to raise $60 million more as we seek to partner with developers, publishers, agencies and brands to create the next generation of HTML5 experiences.

Big Viking Games’ focus on HTML5 stated way back in 2012.

“We made the decision to make significant investments in HTML5 instant games because we saw the potential of the technology and how it will define the future of mobile gaming and entertainment,” says BVG co-founder and CEO Albert Lai. “Others have moved away from HTML5 due to the technical investment required but we believe that open standards and more powerful devices will pave the way for a massive shift on mobile phones and tablets.” Read More