Interview

Game-changing Team | Charlotte Cook, Head of Commercial

By March 5, 2019 September 30th, 2019 No Comments

Charlotte shares on how she made it to heading up the Commercial team at Genba Digital, the challenges overcome by the team last year, and what gets her out of bed in the morning…

What game releases are you most looking forward to this year?

I’m very lucky in my job as we get to see lots of the publishers unannounced release lineups, and it is safe to say there is lots of amazing PC content coming up that I’m very excited to work on…but cannot talk about!

 

Total War: THREE KINGDOMS is a title that I’m eager to see release and the community reaction – it is a title that I saw in the very early stages of development in my previous role at SEGA and (as a bit of a history geek) I love the time period in which the game is set.

 

Control by 505 Games, The Outer Worlds from Private Division and Age of Wonders: Planetfall from Paradox Interactive have also caught my eye!

 

Tell us a bit about what you do at Genba Digital and how you got here.

I head up the Commercial team at Genba Digital, which currently comprises of our Commercial, Business Development, Marketing & PR functions.

 

The biggest part of my job is relationship management. As a service business, we bring together publishers and etailers and facilitate them being able to sell games – and ultimately increase revenue for all parties – through secure and approved sales channels. This requires a huge amount of effort across the commercial team and we pride ourselves on the excellent service we provide, so we tailor this to each individual client – be that a AAA publisher or small Indie Developer. I’m also responsible for some of our business development, and as a member of the Senior Management Team I work closely with all departments to drive forward Genba’s growth strategy.

 

I have predominantly worked in the games industry since I graduated in 2011 and first worked at Take Two Interactive Software, where I worked as a Digital Sales Co-Ordinator. I then moved to SEGA where I worked as a Digital Account Manager for 4 years, before moving to Genba Digital in September 2016. Working at Genba has provided me with a wealth of experience and the opportunity to really influence and shape a business. I’m really looking forward to 2019 and all of the exciting projects we have lined up.

 

What is it about your job that gets you up in the morning?

Well it’s safe to say that I’m not really a morning person and the snooze button features regularly in my life! But once I have caffeinated and I’m ready to go, I would have to say that it is working in an industry I love and being part of a company that is disruptive and growing.

 

Working in a start-up was always a career ambition of mine. It is so rewarding to be part of a company where each deal you sign truly means something and where you can directly see the impact and importance of your work. Genba has enabled me to build and work with a fantastic network of people across the industry and travel to exciting new places and events – which is a huge perk of the job!

One of the 5 Genba Digital values is ‘Be Agile’. Why do you think this is so important to the team?

Every day is different at Genba. As a client facing team, we must be very adaptive and agile to ensure we are providing the best possible service. There are so many moving parts to digital distribution; and with  accommodating 80+ publishers and etailers combined,  things can get busy! Being agile is therefore a pre-requisite of the job!

 

What sort of challenges did 2018 bring? How have they strengthened the team?

2018 was a fantastic year for Genba – we had our strongest performance and growth to date and added some fantastic clients and content to the platform.

 

A big challenge that we and the whole PC digital market faces constantly is the ‘grey market’. Tackling the grey market is like a constant game of whack-a-mole, with new tactics emerging all the time. In 2018 we further developed our internal security tools and checks to monitor unusual sales patterns and suspicious or fraudulent activity. We also rolled out a Silent Key Activation solution in collaboration with Ubisoft, which addresses head on the supply route of keys to the grey market. These challenges have helped strengthen us as a team, as they require us to work very closely across the business to monitor, react to and predict potential threats from the grey market. We must also collaborate to implement robust solutions and processes to ensure we continue to operate at the highest level of security.

 

In 2019 we are focusing on the launch of our next generation platform which has taken all our experience, learnings and industry leading standards, to deliver a truly pioneering digital distribution platform and service.

 

This month, we’ll be attending the MCV Awards (thanks to our nomination!) and GDC in San Francisco. Are there any new events this year that you’re excited to be attending?

I’m really looking forward to attending Pocket Gamer Connects and PC Gamer Connects in Seattle this May. Seattle is a fantastic city with such a thriving games industry scene and is an important client base for Genba. We also have our sights set on the Tokyo Game Show and G-Star Korea as part of our expansion into the Asian markets later this year. I’m really looking forward to hopefully attending those and being able to sneak in a quick bit of sight-seeing in any downtime we may have!

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