Girls in the Video Game Industry #3: Paula Wong

July 8, 2010 at 5:36 am | Posted in Girls in the Video Game Industry interview series | 19 Comments
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I’ve been hoping for a while now that PopCap would make more Plants vs. Zombies merchandise… after all, there are so many cute characters to choose from that would make for awesome figurines, stuffed animals, stickers, etc. Heck, even Crazy Dave and his Magic Taco would make a good plushie, don’t you think? And if it’s anywhere near as well-designed and creative as some of the swag that’s been coming out of Popcap’s Creative Labs, then rest assured I will be doing my best to collect a complete set.

Girls in the Video Game Industry #2: Paula Wong
Senior Director of Creative Labs at PopCap Games

If you’ve played around with the Zombatar, seen the eye-catching Plants vs. Zombies retail boxes, or gotten your hands on a can of “Brain Ooze,” then you already know a bit about the creative and interesting things Paula has worked on during her time at PopCap Games.

1.) Can you tell us a bit about your job?

I lead the marketing creative team at PopCap Games. We bring the awesome games our studio creates to market. We’re a team of 20 print, web and video designers, copywriters and account managers. Most of us are based in Seattle; two are in Dublin and two in Shanghai. We develop all the retail packaging, marketing materials, ads, video and the creative for our partners and for PopCap.com, where we feature our games.

2.) How did you get into the video game industry?

I was recruited by Dave Roberts, our CEO at PopCap, four years ago. I told him that I wasn’t a gamer and he just smiled and handed me some PopCap games to play…

3.) What are some of your favorite games?

Peggle, Bejeweled Blitz, Bookworm, and of course, Plants vs. Zombies!

4.) What were some of your favorite projects to work on and why?

I find it thrilling to go to a national retailer and see a whole line-up of our retail products, side by side. We have an amazing shelf presence and that has helped contribute to a successful retail business. Since this is a direct result of my group’s work, it makes me super proud! It was also outrageously fun to work on Plants vs. Zombies marketing projects. I was part of the team that suggested and promoted the idea of a Zombatar—a Zombie avatar creator. Everything that we did for Plants vs. Zombies was so full of personality and quirkiness. Irreverence and silliness went into everything we did for PvZ, from the “no zombies” stickers, to energy producing sunflower seed packets, a Brain Ooze drink, Zombie Temp Worker videos and creating a party invitation with Zombie handwriting that printers were instructed to fold “poorly” as if it came from Zombies.

5.) What are your thoughts on being a female in the video game industry?

When I first started at PopCap, there were perhaps 5 women, out of 75 total employees. Women are definitely in the minority, but our percentage has grown. PopCap’s casual games are immensely popular with women. I foresee our numbers increasing in the video game industry as well as customer base and believe there will be better gender balance in the future. I love that I’ve gotten to be a bit of a pioneer in this industry.

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