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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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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.

 

Five Years of Working at Big Viking Games

By | Career Advice, Culture, Games, Viking Profiles, YoWorld | No Comments

In October of 2011, Big Viking Games was formed. From that start with only 6 employees, to the BVG of today, with over 100 Vikings, our team has come a long way. Fish World and YoWorld, two of our earliest games, are still running strong, and years of research into HTML5 have paid off with titles like Tiny Tappers and Galatron.

To celebrate 5 years of BVG, we sat down with Gary Stevenson, Senior Product Manager for YoWorld and Fish World, who has been with us since the company started. From a humble beginning as a customer support representative, to now being responsible for two of our highest grossing games, Gary shares how he has grown at BVG in this Viking Profile.

Gary Stevenson Big Viking Games

How long have you been working at Big Viking Games?

Gary: I was actually hired prior to BVG’s existence, back in October of 2010, when we were still known as Tall Tree Games. So I guess you could say I’ve worked for Big Viking Games for its entire existence.

Please tell us what life was like at BVG when you started working here. Read More