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The Games Industry and COVID-19

01 Apr 2020

The Games Industry and COVID-19

The video games industry is one of the more fortunate industries in the current climate. The majority of work can be done remotely and has been done remotely for a long time for studios such as Roll7. We've been in contact with our partner studios to ask them how the current situation has changed the way they work, and if (and how) they're hiring new members of staff.

We'll be updating this article as we get new information in from our studio partners so be sure to check back!

Veronica Minano - Talent Acquisition Manager

 

Leamington Spa, UK

“I’m pleased to say that even in the current climate, we’re continuing to grow at Kwalee and the way we work has stayed the same, it's just moved to a remote setting for the time being. We’re still hiring across multiple disciplines that include game design, programming, QA, and marketing, and all new hires will still be able to make the most of our key benefits during this time. That includes our ongoing ‘Creative Wednesdays’ where any member of staff, no matter the team or seniority can pitch a game, get it made, and potentially profit from its success - which we have successfully moved online thanks to the great video conferencing technology available to us all.

Beyond this, all new starters are being welcomed to the company as best they can under these unusual circumstances and we’re making sure everyone can work in a comfortable setting, as we’ve been supplying staff with the things they need to keep working efficiently.

The biggest change for us, however, has been that we have been able to see just how well the team can work in a remote setting, and have therefore opened up many of our current vacancies to permanent remote working team members - meaning that wherever you’re based, you could now join the Kwalee team!”

 

Click here to find out more about Kwalee and their current vacancies

 

Jessica Rickey - Senior Recruiter

Irvine, CA, USA

"MobilityWare is still actively recruiting and hiring for some great positions! Our process has adjusted since the COVID-19 Pandemic, but we have been very fortunate to continue looking forward with the business and keep making FUN games for all!  Our recruiting process still includes phone interview stages and assessments as normal. We have had to move from face to face interviews to Zoom video interviews for final interviews. We have recently started scheduling final interviews and will be working through hiccups in the coming weeks and hopefully refining that process. MobilityWare has also made new hires and onboarded during this time successfully. Check out our website for all our open position, and we would love to consider you."

Sending everyone our best and stay safe!

You can find MobilityWare's current vacancies here.

Sascha Boeck - Senior Recruiter

Frankfurt, Germany

"The majority of our staff has been working from home since March 16th, and the transition to a fully remote office went surprisingly smoothly. Our staff adapted very quickly to the new situation, and so far we have learned a lot of new (and good!) things about working remotely. The early stages of our hiring processes aren’t effected at all."

"Because we recruit internationally, we have always kicked off the process with video and voice calls. What has changed now is that we cannot invite potential candidates to meet their team and colleagues in Frankfurt in person, to get a feeling for the location. This is challenging, but so far we have only have positive things to say. In the last few weeks, we did remote onboarding with several new starters who will work remotely until they can relocate to Frankfurt."

"I believe we will learn a lot in this situation that will make us rethink certain hiring processes, remote collaboration, and home office in general."

Check our Cryteks current vacancies here.

The nDreams Recruitment Team

Farnborough, UK

"Here at nDreams we’re continuing to recruit remotely through video call which is an extension of our second stage interview process for some areas of the business. We will also send our recent company culture video to anyone at offer stage so they can hear from our staff and see what the office looks like. Since we’ve all started working from home we’ve have had a number of new starters that we’ve successfully onboarded remotely and we’ve managed to adjust traditional methods of our induction process along with running the day to day, week to week operations and processes within the company. Of course at this time the safety and well-being of all staff and new starters is paramount and we will do all we can to accommodate requests to start later in the year if someone requests it, along with providing necessary adjustments to get them in sooner if that works for them…"

Check out nDreams current vacancies here.

Becky Brown - Office Manager

Liverpool, UK

"We’re pleased to say it’s business as usual at Firesprite! We’re a multi-product studio with big projects and our scheduling remains unaffected."

"We were making preparations to move all 130 of our employees to work from home in anticipation of the COVID-19 situation for several weeks before the official lockdown. It’s been a huge undertaking, but with the support of IT, HR and Management we’ve successfully transitioned the entire studio and all disciplines have been working remotely for over 2 weeks now.  In addition to this, we’re talking to each other more than ever and we’re looking at constantly improving and refining our processes in this distributed development setup!"

"We still have ambitious goals for recruiting great talent so we’ve moved our interview process solely to Skype / Calls and using distributed tools to evaluate and collect feedback from hiring teams & candidates. We’ve already had three offers of employment accepted during this transition period, which is fantastic news for us and great to see the team pulling together to make these new processes work so well. We also have a number of new starters ready to join, so we’re switching to a remote onboarding process, reviewing materials and working to streamline and improve as we go during these unprecedented times."

Silja Bernecker - Lead Talent Acquisition Management

Hamburg, Germany

"We're still hiring, but it's a little bit different. Luckily, as a developer and publisher of mobile and online games, we're one of the companies not being heavily affected by risk mitigation measures currently taking place around the world. Not only have we decided to switch to a company-wide home office set-up with all our staff working from home now. Also, we turned our hiring process into a fully virtual one."

"For candidates, we're now doing fully remote interviews with our dedicated hiring team. We're open for our new members of staff to start their work remotely for the time being or adjusting their contract start dates accordingly."

Check out Innogames current vacancies here

Terri Kim Bell - Head of Talent Acquisition

Stockholm, Sweden

"We're working remotely since three weeks back and are evaluating the situation every two weeks. It's mostly business as usual - but a bit different of course! Interviews are still happening through Google Hangouts. We'll on-board nine new employees remotely in April and will probably learn a lot from that. Our plans to grow have not changed at all, and we still have some pretty ambitious plans for 2020!"

"Instead of having our amazing breakfasts every day, we're able to expense our lunches on Tuesdays and Thursdays and have created a Slack channel where everyone can join for a casual lunch chat. We'll even have our first lunch quiz (to replace our monthly pub) next week, which should be fun!"

Check out Embark Studios current vacancies here.

 

Adrian Goersch - Managing Director & Founder

Offenburg, Germany

"We're still wanting to recruit people because even though our team is now on home-office, we haven't changed our production plans. There's been no change to the first part of our interview process - the test task and first skype interview - and we're only replacing the final parts. The onsite visit is now an extended Skype interview."

"We're very careful here - for the candidate and for us - it's important that they get an idea about the studio environment, their colleagues and the region. Another challenge is that the new hires now start by working from home, that's been a bit of a challenge but special times require special actions!"

Check out Black Forest Games current vacancies here.

 

Lena Behring - HR Manager

Hamburg, Germany

Even though we have all moved to working from home we're still continuing to recruit normally; for now. As most of our candidates usually come from abroad anyway, so most of our interviews have always been via Skype. The biggest challenge at the moment is that we cannot invite people to Hamburg for an on-site interview at the last stage of the recruitment process."

"However, we have successfully onboarded one new employee entirely remotely from Vietnam [...] Because we were both still eager to begin working together, we decided to find a way to make it work for both of us. It's safe to say that the team has found their flow and our new colleague in Vietnam is able to fully participate in all meetings and be included in all work processes. We're very happy with how this process has gone so far."

Check out Deep Silver FISHLABS vacancies here.

 

Marilena Parenti - Head of Talent Attraction & Acquisition

Barcelona, Spain

"It's definitely business as usual at Socialpoint. The paradox that is the current economic climate means that gaming is living in a sort of bubble - entertainment is key now, more than ever."

"As for recruitment, we haven't stopped anything - we're continuing to hire and onboard people, and have had to learn quickly how to work and onboard remotely. We've had really good results with this thanks to the creativity, resilience and problem-solving attitude of our business leaders, HR, workplace & IT people."

"We've actually found that our recruitment has been faster than usual because candidates are more flexible with their availability as the majority of people are now working from home. We've found ourselves finalising the whole process with candidates (usually with 4-7 interviews) in around a week."

Check out the current vacancies at Socialpoint here.

 

Caroline Usher - People & Office Manager

Dundee, UK

"We are mainly business as usual. Recruitment and onboarding is still a high priority for us. I am learning every day new processes of remote onboarding, with our first remote new employee starting on Monday!"

"The whole team works together with our IT Administrator to ensure the required software is installed on the equipment, then shipped out to the new employee. Then with the use of Zoom meetings and slack, we ensure they have everything they need to get up and running."

" We also normally have a team lunch for new starts, so we're currently looking at organising a lunch for the team but online! And we are still, where possible, sending out our new employees their favourite snacks for them on their first day!"

View the current vacancies at Tag Games here.

 

Guy DeRosa - Head of Talent

Brighton, UK

"We’re finding a surprising amount of people are willing to interview entirely digitally; so long as they’re being equipped with enough information. It’s about looking at the tools and material we can provide to empower people to make that huge decision to come and join us."

"The team’s previous huge effort in staff wellbeing, studio culture, and social media are paying off now as we can point to the likes of our Glassdoor profiles, staff blogs, studio tour promo videos, ‘Best Places to Work’ awards, Insta and Twitter feeds to show how fantastic a place to work for we are. It also helps that Brighton is an amazingly popular destination."

You can find all of Studio Gobo's vacancies here.

And all of Electric Square's vacancies here.

Lana Kersanava - HR Director

Sydney, Australia

"This is a really challenging time for everyone. At Wargaming we work on online games with distributed development, working with teams all over the world which has created some unique challenges for us."

"Luckily we’re a pretty agile company and our teams have pivoted pretty seamlessly to working from home. We’ve adopted new ways of keeping our operations efficient like virtual ideas boards, storm boards, video chats via Teams and so on. We’re even adapting our benefits packages by introducing a limited edition WFH benefit budget to support everyone in our studio during this difficult time."

"For the most part though, it’s business as usual with some slight amendments. We’re still hiring, still bringing on new members to the team and recently had 4 new starters join us. Their first day was working from home, and to get ready we sent them fully configured computers, monitors and their day 1 new starter pack. Our on-boarding is all being done virtually and they’ll get to introduce themselves to everyone at our next studio meeting on Teams."

"Our studio is growing, we’ve got more roles to fill, and we’ll tackle the challenges as they come."

You can check all of Wargaming Sydney's current vacancies here.

There are also vacancies available at Wargaming UK in Guildford and you can find those here.


Keep Calm and waka waka...