Tuesday Nov 05, 2013
There are many jobs in game companies that gamers rarely hear about, or maybe aren’t even aware exist. That doesn’t mean they’re not important or non-vital to a game’s success. One of these roles is the Live Producer. Live Producers focus on the vision and life of an online game, guiding it along its path to success, and ensuring that the various teams stay on-track through its life cycle. For Kingdom Conquest II, this person is Nobby Matsuo, and he’s agreed to sit down with us and talk about his profession.
Interview with Nobby Matsuo, Kingdom Conquest II Live Producer
1. Can you give us a brief idea of what your job is here at SEGA?
I’m the Kingdom Conquest II Live Producer for the Western territories. I work as one of the conduits between the Western operations team and the dev/operations team in Japan. More specifically in regards to questions, issues, suggestions, requests, information sharing, and… sometime rants, from both sides, to make sure the game is operating the best it can in our territories. Being a Producer, its my job to facilitate processes and direct communication between the real talent (community management, game master, executives, PR, brand management, QA, localization, and the ops/dev team in Japan) to help them make the game really shine. I’m usually in the background and don’t pop in unless an issue arises or needs to be averted; I troubleshoot until the problem is taken care of, then get out of the way to let the talent do what they do best.
2. How did you come to work at SEGA? Did you always want to work on games?
I’ve always had a passion for games, but I didn’t always want to work on them. In college I majored in biology, got my degree, then ended up producing games. It was purely by chance I arrived in the game industry. A summer job in my 3rd year in college testing Final Fantasy VII for the PlayStation 1 changed my career plans.
Since that summer job, I had a fantastic experience being part of the team that brought additional Squaresoft titles like Final Fantasy Tactics, Saga Frontier 1 & 2, Xenogears, Front Mission 3, etc. to the U.S. audience.
Skipping ahead by a decade or so after working on several dozen games across a couple of game companies, I jumped at the chance to work at SEGA.
3. From your perspective, what does the typical life-cycle of an online game look like?
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