This Autumn, Metacore launched its trainee program called Press Play. Why was this the year to invite emerging talent to join the company and what will the program bring to them? We put these questions to Metacore’s Chief Operating Officer Anna Kaskeala-Moore to find out more.
Getting your foot in the gaming industry’s door
“There is a lot of talent out there who have just graduated and are really passionate about gaming, but have difficulties entering the industry. We wanted to do our part in providing entry-level positions for recent graduates or professionals who are looking for a career change,” Anna says.
Finland is one of the three biggest game developer countries in Europe, and at the moment the industry employs 3,600+ professionals. With the mobile game industry booming, it’s no wonder that more and more people have their career sights set in gaming. But finding the first position in the industry is not as easy as one might think.
“When we announced the Press Play program internally, our employees were so excited because many of them know from experience how difficult it is to enter the scene. This is one of the reasons they had been wishing for more trainee positions for newcomers who are starting their careers. The response from new gaming industry talent was equally positive, and our new Press Play trainees have really enjoyed their first months at Metacore.”
Take for example Press Play’s Game Artist Trainee Hy Bui who wanted to work with games but knew how hard it would be to find a junior or a trainee position:
“I’ve always been interested in mobile game art because I like its animation style and the bright and bubbly visuals. But when I began looking for work in the gaming industry, most game artist positions were for senior talent, who had years of experience under their belts,” shares Hy.
Metacore had caught my eye previously because I was a fan of Merge Mansion, so when I saw they were looking for trainees, I knew I couldn’t let that opportunity slip by.
Being a part of the game teams after a month
The Press Play program began with an introduction period to Metacore and the trainees learning the ins and outs of how a mobile games company operates and what it really means to be working in a game studio. After the introductory period, all trainees joined different game teams where they will work for the rest of the program.
“In addition to getting valuable job experience in building games, we want to offer our trainees a thorough education on how a mobile games company works from every aspect. No stone is left unturned as we go over everything from game design, branding, player experience and performance marketing to legal, finances and talent acquisition. So, after the program they have a solid understanding of the different factors, and different roles and people it takes to create and develop mobile games,” Anna continues.
As culture is very important at Metacore, with wellbeing as one of the core values, the Press Play program also includes workshops in team work, stress-regulation, self-leadership and time-management. Anna mentions that during the program, the trainees will also be fully immersed in the company and participate in all activities that go on at Metacore.
The goal here is to encourage trainees to feel comfortable sharing their ideas and creative decisions on a low threshold — to add to Metacore’s culture that values autonomy and low hierarchy.
The Press Play trainee program will continue
With the first program receiving roughly 300 applications, the response has been overwhelmingly positive. Anna mentions that applicants as well as industry professionals and educators have been excited about this initiative and hopes that the industry will continue to create more opportunities like this.
“Even before we launched our trainee program, we got regular inquiries from eager professionals about entry level positions. That’s why we’re so happy that we have grown to a stage where we can offer a structured program for new talent,” Anna adds.
The first Press Play program trainees began working at Metacore in September. If you want to find out how they’re enjoying the program, keep an eye out for future blog posts.