Ubisoft Ivory Tower: Video Games, Tech Career and Inclusiveness

Published on 23 November 2021

Reading time 6 minutes

Talent Acquisition Specialist, Anne shares with us her vision of tech and video games, careers in this field, and the inclusiveness that comes with this role!

Video games or the industry in motion that drives the latest innovations 

Hello Anne! Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

Hello! My name is Anne BALKANSKI. I’ve been a Talent Acquisition Specialist at Ubisoft Ivory Tower in Villeurbanne, France, for about three years. 

You've been working at Ubisoft Ivory Tower for over three years now. Could you tell us more about your daily missions?

On a day-to-day basis, I mainly recruit for technical positions, including programming, production, and design positions such as Economic Designer. I also work with the people I recruit as part of their integration into the studio. Finally, I'm also in charge of school relations for the Lyon studio. My role is to share our challenges with students — especially regarding our projects and open positions for recruitment, but also to act as a link between the studio and our employees and schools in order to organize events (workshops, masterclasses, and job dating). Finally, all these subjects contribute to building our employer brand, and the HR and Communication teamwork daily to share our values externally while ensuring that they are conveyed internally. 

What drives you most in the video game world, and why did you choose to pursue your career in this field?

What drives me in this industry on a daily basis is mainly the taste for challenge. For three years now, I've been able to see just how much this industry is on the move, and how much it wants to be at the forefront of the latest innovations, including in human resources. At Ubisoft Ivory Tower, I've always been given the opportunity to make our processes evolve and to be a source of proposal, and it's really a chance to challenge ourselves every day to do even better. And when we get positive feedback from our employees, students and schools, in my opinion, it's really the result of a successful bet! 

Could you tell us more about the culture of your company, its tech and innovative aspects, as well as its next big projects in video games?

Ubisoft's mission is "to enrich the lives of gamers by creating unique and memorable gaming experiences." As a studio, we share this vision with the goal of developing our talent through innovation and a strong brand.

At the same time, we’ve also asked our teams to define our values as a studio, and so far, we’ve identified seven: 

  • play as a team
  • change the game(s)
  • race for excellence
  • get creative 
  • build family spirit
  • unleash the passion
  • enjoy the ride 

Overall, these values are based on team spirit, challenge, innovation, and of course, a good working atmosphere.

Finally, the studio is also positioning itself on expertise such as game as a service, open worlds, and online and driving dimensions.

As for our next projects, I invite you to follow our studio news and also the Ubisoft group ones. ;-) 

Video game market profiles

What do you think are the most essential tech jobs in video games, and why? 

In my opinion, all the tech or non-tech jobs are essential. That's really the observation you can make when you evolve on a daily basis within video game production. That said, from one studio to another, depending on the number of employees and the size of the project, production organization can vary. In smaller studios, you may find a game designer who will also carry out the tasks of a level designer  or an economic designer, but the job is done by a human being anyway. In a studio, like ours, there’ll be one person for each specialty because it's too much work for one person. But what also makes our teams so diverse is their ability to exchange and understand each other's issues and constraints in order to move forward together towards the same goal. 

Ubisoft Ivory Tower has already recruited profiles in retraining, such as Benoît, one of our Wilders. What do you like about this type of profile, and why?

Indeed, we recruited Benoît PEYRIN  about a year ago as a data analyst who graduated from Wild Code School. Often, these are profiles with an initial step of their career in fields and industries different from our own, but it takes a lot of courage and investment to embark on professional retraining, so I think that what makes the difference with these profiles is their unwavering! And within the recruitment team, we really encourage candidates to try their luck even if they don't come from the video game industry because that's what makes our teams so rich: the diversity of the profiles that make them up. 

Ubisoft Ivory Tower and gender equality

Is your company working toward more gender equality within its teams? If so, what actions has it taken so far, and what is the ratio of women to men throughout the company?

Ubisoft and its studios are committed to working towards greater gender equality within its teams. To achieve this, we’re working on several different approaches at Ubisoft Ivory Tower. We make sure that our job offers are as inclusive as possible in terms of both title and content. We also work hand in hand with the schools that train our professions to highlight role models by giving women from our studio the opportunity to share their experiences and speak to students. It makes sense to create vocations among young women and encourage them to take an interest in our industry. We also share our advantages, which aim to make everyday life easier and which concern both women and men. Finally, we’re working to ensure an inclusive and caring work environment. At Ubisoft Ivory Tower in Villeurbanne (France), 17% of our employees are women, and we hope to see this number increase in coming months and years. 

You have participated in masterclasses for the Wild Code School, such as the one on women in Data. What would you say to women who are still hesitating to enter the tech world?

Yes, I was delighted to take part in this masterclass and to exchange with Andreea and Marie-Cécile as well as all the people who were able to join us for the Q&A part. It was enriching to meet around this subject which is close to my heart. So, thanks again to the Wild Code School for giving me this opportunity. 

What I would say to women who want to get into tech is "Go for it! You’re capable, courageous, and just as justified as men. Do it for yourself—but also for future generations. Your choices today will make the difference tomorrow. And if you falter at first, do it again!

Thank you for all these answers! Any last words for our readers who dream of working in the video game world?

Don't give up. It's not always easy to get into the video game industry, but with perseverance and strong motivation, you'll get there. There are studios, there is work and it is really a fulfilling industry!

To find out more...

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