Get That Job Daily: How to be the head of operations at a game company

Get That Job Daily: How to be the head of operations at a game company
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

January 22nd 2014 at 1:10PM

Microsoft Studios' Scott Henson discusses the key skills for the role

Every working day this month, as part of our New Year, New Job 2014 special, Develop brings you a game industry professional to explain what their job involves and key advice to help you follow in their footsteps.

Head of operations

Scott Henson of Microsoft Studios offers an insight into his job working as head of operations at the console giant.

What is your job role?
I oversee the operations of the Europe based studios in the Microsoft Studios family including Rare, Lionhead, Soho Productions, Press Play & Lift London.

How would someone become head of operations at a game company?
Marry your passion for creating great video games with a passion for building and growing great teams. Follow your passion to help those around you to be better at what they do.

What qualifications / experience do you need?
Proven experience building and running teams. Strong communication and leadership skills across all disciplines responsible for the conceiving, building, shipping, and operating of connected entertainment experiences.

What do you look for when recruiting creative leaders?
The key for any role is to have a strong vision and passion for creating fun games. Leaders need to know how to be a coach, mentor and create opportunites for the people on their teams to succeed.

Of course fundamental skills are necessary in each discipline – art, animation, engineering, project management, business development, marketing, etcetera. The things that transcend all disciplines are great communication, drive, passion for quality and strong interpersonal and collaboration skills.

The essential skill we are looking for as we build our modern studios is the ability to operate games as a service with an always-on, always evolving relationship with our gamers.

What opportunities are there for career progression?
From my vantage point, the opportunities that exist now in our industry are limitless. There are more people gaming on more platforms in more ways than we have ever seen. This means that the number of projects and development studios has just exploded, giving people who want to enter or move around in our industry an unparalleled opportunity to pick and choose the type of career and team they want to either start or join.

In Microsoft Studios we have opportunities to progress as an individual or as a manager and leader depending on what your passion and talents are. What’s exciting to me about what we have is really a studio for every type of game development talent and career ambition.

Why choose to follow a career in your field?
I started in engineering and ended up in people management. If you like the combination of team building and a passion for changing the world with great socially connected games, there is no better place to be!

If you’d like to get involved with Get That Job Daily, contact aaron.lee@intentmedia.co.uk. You can take a look at all the available design vacancies over at our Develop Jobs section.

This feature is part of New Year, New Job 2014, Develop’s month-long guide to games recruitment. You can read more at www.develop-online.net/jobs2014.