Moving to San Francisco and working at Perfect World Entertainment

I've got a job!

Senior Social Media Marketing Coordinator – That's my new position at Perfect World Entertainment, a video game developer and publisher in Redwood Shores (South Bay of San Francisco, CA).

After about two months on the job hunt and several interviews and meetings with various companies, I was able to find a great opportunity with an exciting company – Perfect World Entertainment.  I will be joining the Marketing and PR team in just a couple weeks, working alongside ambitious and energetic folks that are trying to take over the Free to Play MMO space in the US.

Perfect World is probably most commonly known as the developer publisher of Perfect World International, their main MMO in the states which gamers can play for free, but can also buy items in-game through their cash mall.  You've also probably seen the Perfect World cash cards at your local 7-11 or GameStop.

Perfect World also has two other games out now, Jade Dynasty and Ether Saga Online.  They've got a number of new games coming out next year, with Kung FOO! coming out very soon.  What most people probably don't know, though, is that Perfect World published the popular PC RPG "Torchlight", which is a game that released this fall and was developed by former Diablo/Blizzard devs at Runic Games in Seattle.

To sum things up – Perfect World is a very ambitious company that is very successful in China and they want to make a big impact in the US.  Their current games are doing pretty well (1 million active players across their three F2P MMOs right now, I read in an article most recently), and they've got quite a few coming out in the new year and beyond.  They're doing some exciting publishing deals (Torchlight for example), and I'm very excited join Perfect World as they transition into a new phase of growth and expansion.

As I mentioned in my last post, the prospect of focusing 100% of my energy on using social media to build game communities and market games is *very* exciting to me..and it is ultimately what made this position a real winner for me.  I'll be joining a great team with some big goals and a totally open canvas in terms of what we can do.

Perfect World has community managers for their games, and I'm very excited to work with them to help build stronger and bigger communities around their games. With three games out now (and more coming next year), we should have a wealth of content to share and talk about with our community.  I'm going to try to really push things forward in the F2P MMO space, which based on some of my research doesn't seem to get a lot of love in the community department.  I'm very excited to get on Twitter, Facebook, build our blog presence, and hopefully get into other mediums/platforms so that we can interact with our community in the places that they are online.

Ironically, the week that I accepted the position, Perfect World relaunched their web portal and launched a new company blog.  I encourage you to check out the site – Nice work guys!

This job successfully rolls up my passion for community, social media and marketing into one role – and I'm very excited.  I've got big goals for myself in the social media/game space, and I think this company and this team will help me attain those goals.  I'm looking forward to starting in just a couple of weeks!

The whole F2P MMO space is new to me, and working directly for a game developer/publisher…but I'm looking forward to learning what works, what doesn't, and taking the journey along the way.  If anyone has any suggestions/insights on F2P MMO community, please feel free to contact me!

On a different  note – I now need to find a place in SF in a very short period of time. If anyone needs a roommate, or knows someone that does, *please* contact me ASAP.  I need everyone's help, since I need to move cross country *very* soon.  Thanks for any help you can provide!

In summary…I'm scared, excited, and very anxious to start a new chapter of my life in San Francisco at an awesome game company and in a dream role of a job.  It was a great Christmas/Birthday present, and I want to thank everyone for all the encouragement, support, and help that got me here!

Thanks!

Sam "QforQ" Houston

It has been a crazy ride on the unemployment train

It has been over a month since my last update and a lot of stuff has happened in that span of time.  My lack of updates isn't because of a lack of things going on, but has more to do with the fact that all the cool stuff I've been doing I can't really talk about at this time.

I still don't have a job, but I feel confident that that won't be the case very soon.  Just this past week I was out in San Francisco meeting with a few game companies, and all my interviews have gone very well so far.  I'm feeling very good about my chances of finding work soon/in the new year, and I can't wait to share with everyone where I land, and more importantly..start at a new company.

The past few weeks have been very exciting because as I talk to more companies, I'm getting a better idea of exactly what I want to do in my next job.  I'm getting more creative ideas, and getting more inspired about what I can do in my career and how I can be someone in the game industry that is moving game community and social media practices forward.  It has brought me to an ambitious goal that I now have, which is to be one of the best social media professionals in the game industry – and I think I can do that.  I'm very proud of and excited by what I've been able to do over the past year in the gaming social media space, and I hope to be able to continue on that path in 2010 and really make some waves in the game industry.  I think there is a lot of opportunity to utilize new social media technologies to build communities and engage with gamers, and I can't wait to get out there and do that for a company that I'm passionate about.

So far the unemployment train ride has been an interesting one, with lots of different waves of emotions going over as situations change or new things happened.  November was a bit rough, since it was my slow month and nothing was really happening, so it was definitely a tad bit sad and lonely.  Staying at home all day and no longer going into an office of your best friends took some getting used to, but things are much better now.  December in general has been a much better month, and I'm very thankful for all my friends and family that have helped me get through this temporary run-in with unemployment.

All in all, things are looking up, and I'm hoping to have some good news in near future.  At the very least, I'm excited to go back to Ohio for a few weeks of Christmas vacation, with plans to hang out with my nephew as much as possible and get my family together for some Beatles: Rock Band.  Then after that, I'll be turning 22 on January 2nd!  Lots of good things ahead of me :)

Lastly, I wanted to close out with an update on gamerDNA:  Today it was announced that the gaming news website Crispy Gamer has merged with gamerDNA.  I've met Chris (CEO of Crispy) several times, and I've always liked him a lot.  I wish Crispy and the remaining GamerDNA crew the best of luck on their new journey!

Thanks!

-Sam "QforQ" Houston