Amy Choi

I’m a Director of Product at Lion Studios where I oversee our Product Management, Game Design, and Quality Assurance (QA) teams.

I work closely with our Game Designers, Analysts, Engineers, Artists, and with other teams across the business to create and execute on the product roadmaps for our titles.

I’ve always been an avid gamer and after college, I joined a mobile ad tech company where I worked with game developers on ad monetization. I really enjoyed working with game developers, but wanted to delve deeper into the product side and work directly on all aspects of a mobile game. I then joined Lion Studios as its first Product Manager, and have grown tremendously since starting two years ago.

I most recently led the launch of one of Lion Studio’s newest games, Ancient Battle. Players assemble their army with unique and powerful troops, collect items and runes to enhance their power, and discover new lands in a fight for glory.

Ancient Battle was the first game Lion Studios co-developed with another studio and is the latest example of how we continue to evolve and diversify our games and publishing services. We worked with Chinese developer Mandrill VR to reimagine all of the characters, buildings, and animations, and paired this with custom sound effects to give the game a fully-immersive, high-quality finish. We’re really pleased with the work we’ve done and the reception we’ve gotten so far!

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

After college, I was really intrigued by the Product Manager path since it’s such an interdisciplinary role – I loved the idea of collaborating across teams and really digging into end user behavior. As a Product Manager in games, many people assume I have a technical background but I actually studied Neurobiology and French Literature in college. You don’t need to have an engineering degree in order to do this job – if you love games, all you need is a willingness to try new things and test your assumptions. I find that game industry veterans come from a wide range of academic and professional backgrounds – this is one of my favorite things about working in this space.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

When I joined Lion Studios, there were a lot of firsts. I was the first Product Manager on the team, it was my first time on the product side, and my first time working directly on games.

I’m really fortunate to have landed at a studio that embraces continual learning and testing, and I really took advantage of this when I first started. I had a steep learning curve my first year with lots of missteps and questions asked, but ramped up very quickly as a result.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Building Ancient Battle up to be a sustainable game has been one of my biggest and most rewarding career milestones. As both the Product Manager and the acting Project Manager on this game, I had to ensure all things game-related were running smoothly. This meant balancing competing art, engineering, analytics, and monetization priorities across different time zones.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success? 

The ability to try new things! With each role I’ve had, I had the opportunity to take on the widest responsibility I can handle. This ensures I’m always growing and never getting too comfortable with the status quo. I’ve also been fortunate to have managers that have encouraged me to try new things and as I’ve built my team, I continue to look for opportunities where my team can learn new skills and expand into new areas.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in the video game industry?

Live and breathe data!! Most roles in game development heavily leverage data to create, publish, and grow games. Even if you’re new to gaming, having a solid understanding of data and the ability to critically analyze different key performance indicators (KPIs) is an important skill that pays off whether you’re a Product Manager or a Game Designer.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

We still see a shortage of women in the industry, and especially so in leadership roles. We need to increase the visibility of female executives and normalize women in decision-making roles. Female-centric recruiting practices can also really increase the volume of strong female candidates in your pipeline. Last but not least, companies should listen to their female employees and ensure they’re retained–they’re your strongest advocates and the path to a more inclusive and diverse workplace starts with them!

What do you think companies can do to support the progress of the careers of women working in technology?

In addition to reviewing hiring practices, hosting events that empower female leadership and programs that encourage diversity can normalize the idea of women in leadership and amplify their voices. At AppLovin, we host quarterly events that spotlight a strong female leader who has found success in a male-dominated industry like tech. We’ve also hosted ladies’ happy hours at Lion Studios, and they’ve been great opportunities to connect with female colleagues and celebrate their achievements.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

I recently discovered GameChangers, a webinar series that highlights women in gaming and revolves around a wide variety of topics ranging from User Acquisition to mental health. I’d encourage women working in tech to really connect with other women in the workplace and use each other as a resource.

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