Katharina Hautz boasts an enviable view of the wider entertainment market, having straddled both movies and games in her career to date.
After university, she worked for seven years at the Berlin Film Festival before joining the Crytek Frankfurt studio, where she worked on Crysis 2 and 3, as well as Ryse.
“I had been intrigued about the games industry when I worked in films,” she says. “There are many similarities about working in those markets with international teams, but there are also a lot of differences.
“But, aside from the technical differences, the biggest similarity is how teams work together. In film and games, people have ideas and opinions, and it is great to see how they collaborate to create something bigger. It is not about ego, in my experience; it is about supporting each other to reach a goal together.”
Hautz left Crytek two years ago, and again challenged herself when she moved to Rovio.
“Rovio approached me to work at the Stockholm studio,” she explains. “This was completely different again. I had worked with very big teams at Crytek, of up to 200 people. At Rovio, the teams are 20 to 30 people. I was also switching to mobile, whereas I had worked on PC and console formats previously. And, of course, the job was in Stockholm. The idea of living and working in another country was very appealing to me.”
Hautz is a senior producer, overseeing Angry Birds 2 – the second game in Rovio’s ultra-successful Angry Birds franchise.
There is no such thing as a typical day at the studio, according to Hautz, with the free-to-play sector throwing up its own unique challenges.
“We see updates going live every couple of weeks, so we have to move swiftly to ensure these are stable, and that they arrive on time,” she explains.
“The technical diversity is another challenge for us. On console, you have very concrete target specs.
On mobile, there is an endless list of technical differences between devices, even from the same manufacturer.
“QA testing is also a big job as we have to work so fast. Rovio has an in-house QA team but we also work with external QA partners.”