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Katie Clarke: ‘If you let the passion drive you into action, you’ll be surprised how far you can go’

Every month, we pick the brain of an up-and-coming talent. This month’s Rising Star is Katie Clark, product manager at Sold Out, who talks about the importance of having a proactive nature and how you should not fear rejection – let your passion for games drive you into action

How did you break into games?
I run a guild in Final Fantasy XIV, and love organising and running events for the community. Due to this, I became well known by Square Enix and other members of the industry. Then, while I was in Japan lapping up all of the incredible video game culture, I got the call from Sold Out asking if I was interested in a product management role. They heard of my proactive nature running the guild and also what a passion I had for video games as a whole. I was thrilled to be given the chance to turn my hobby into a career.

What is your proudest achievement so far?
I joined Sold Out while they were gearing up for their biggest year yet. During my probation I was entrusted with some big responsibilities, such as helping to organise the first company corporate event and helping with the boxed version launch of Jurassic World Evolution for Frontier Developments. I was promoted from associate to product manager within six months and I feel really proud that I was able to do the company justice during the first steps
of my career.

What’s been your biggest challenge?
The biggest has been validating my thoughts and opinions on video games and the industry, and the confidence to have more of a voice on them. It’s not something that has come naturally to me in the past, as I’m always thinking of other people’s perspectives and how they might have the ‘correct’ one. Luckily I have a great manager and a great company of colleagues who have helped me learn that my opinions are vital in the work I do.

 

“Want to organise a video game event or meet up? Do it! Want to meet like minded people for inspiration and ideas? Go for it! Get out there and meet people!”

 

What do you enjoy most about your job?
So many things! It’s great to be able to see all the facets of game development, from marketing to production and everything in between; it’s been a great way to learn how the industry works. It’s also really exciting to work on such a huge breadth of games, such as the hilarious Overcooked 2 from Team17 and the adorable pet sim Little Friends: Dogs & Cats. Meeting other people in the industry and the fans at shows is also fun and super inspiring.

What’s your big ambition in games?
I would love to carry on learning and working my way up in the marketing, PR and community fields as I have a strong interest in these sectors. Hollie Bennett, former PlayStation Access Channel Manager, is a huge inspiration for me because of this. She is such a strong representative of female gamers in the industry who are passionate about what they do and have excelled in all these fields. I’d love to be able to get to the point where I can actively inspire others with my work.

What advice would you give to someone trying to get into product management?
The main thing is making sure you let your passion for games run away with you. Want to organise a video game event or meet up? Do it! Want to meet like minded people for inspiration and ideas? Go for it! If you let the passion drive you into action, get out there and meet people, and don’t fear rejection or feel like you’re not good enough, you’ll be surprised how far you can go and where your ideas can take you.

If there’s a rising star at your company, contact Marie Dealessandri at marie.dealessandri@biz-media.co.uk

About Marie Dealessandri

Marie Dealessandri is MCV’s senior staff writer, having joined the publication during its days as a weekly magazine. After testing the waters of the film industry in France and being a radio host and reporter in Canada, she settled for the games industry in London in 2015. She can be found (very) occasionally tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate, Hollow Knight and the Dead Cells soundtrack.

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