Ask anyone at Rovio and they’ll tell you – our people are awesome. Rovio is brimming with knowledgeable and talented mobile gaming professionals working in all disciplines of mobile game production, who come from over 50 nationalities. We’re going to be chatting with a different Rovian every week in a rapid-fire interview to get a glimpse of their life at Rovio.
Last week, we spoke to a member of Rovio’s UA team, who are the team responsible for managing and running ad campaigns for Rovio’s games. These campaigns rely on amazing creative assets that capture the spirit of the games they advertise, and hopefully capture potential players’ attention as well. This week, we’re hearing from one of the people who make those amazing creatives. Mira Holahan is a junior video marketing specialist who works in Rovio’s Puzzle Studio, creating videos to support UA campaigns and other marketing activities. Mira has been with Rovio for a relatively short time, but has already made an impression, being promoted from a video marketing intern to a permanent member of the team last July. Hear more about Mira’s decision to work in games and her role at Rovio in the full interview below.
What do you do?
I’m a marketing video specialist, so I do a couple of different things. One thing I do is I capture gameplay from different games to be used in videos for various purposes, either for our own work or then, for someone else in Rovio to use. So that means I’m playing the games and recording what’s happening onscreen, which for some of the games can be quite difficult. You have to be really good. For example in Angry Birds Friends you want to get all the cool trick shots, so I’m usually playing the level through dozens of times to figure out how I want to do it and then I have to try and get it in one go.
Another thing I do is I work on the creatives, which are ads essentially. Those get used by the UA team in different campaigns and also in other general marketing campaigns. If you ever get a mobile game ad for Angry Birds Journey, there’s a chance that I’m the one behind the video itself. Sometimes we also help out with static assets for marketing purposes as well. So there’s a little bit of everything in there.
What games do you work with?
My team works mainly for the Puzzle Studio so our current projects are Angry Birds Journey, Angry Birds Dream Blast, Angry Birds Friends, and any new projects that the studio is working on.
Can you walk through a typical project?
The way it usually goes is that we get a brief from the UA team with some details about what kind of video they need. Then we’ll go and capture gameplay if necessary and make the video based off of their brief. Then we’ll send it in for feedback. They’ll say It’s either good to go, or give us some comments if they want some changes. Or then in some cases, we might come up with some ideas ourselves, send them to the UA people directly and then see if it is something they can use.
How did you get started working in games and at Rovio?
I studied game design and production in the states so I wanted to get into games from the beginning. However, at first I was interested in being a game artist. After graduating two years ago, I came back to Finland and started applying for a bunch of different jobs, but it turned out to be a very competitive market for game artists.
During that time, I subscribed to job alerts for Rovio and got a notification about a video marketing internship. I had learned a bunch of different programs doing my bachelor’s degree, After Effects, Maya, Photoshop etc. I figured, why not? I applied and heard back from Rovio shortly thereafter. After a couple of interviews, they offered me the job and I was like, okay, you’ve got to be joking, right? Working at Rovio was for me something I was going to aim for once I had worked some entry level positions at some smaller companies so I’m really fortunate to have the opportunity to be here.
I started last March as a video marketing intern and then I got promoted to a full-time junior video marketing specialist three months later.
How did you decide on a career in games?
To be honest, I got to my final year of high school and I faced the dilemma that many other students do, which is “what am I going to do now?”. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but video games had always been a part of my life. During high school I was playing a lot of League of Legends and Overwatch, and at some point I was like, wait a second, there are actually people making the games I’m playing. I guess I could try that out. So then I looked into a bunch of different schools that had programs related to games and found a school in the States near some family. So figured yeah, why not?
What are some of your all-time favorite games?
Nintendo has always been big for me. So, most of my games are probably going to be Nintendo. I’d say the Super Mario Galaxy games are definitely at the top. Pokémon is another big one, though I don’t really have a favorite Pokémon game necessarily. There’s also one Nintendo DS game called The Legend of Starfy that I always remember as one of my favorites. It was just like this cute game where you play as this little star and you have to go fight a big bad boss. Oh, and I definitely have to say Hollow Knight. I think that’s been one of my more recent, favorite games. I’m looking forward to Silksong next year.
What do you like to do outside of work in games? Do you have any, any hobbies?
I’m still adapting to the full-time work life so most of the time I come home from work and I just lay on the couch, like a couch potato, and decompress – which is another way to say look at dogs on Instagram. But I also like baking. There is an upside down apple cake that is one of my fall favorites. It’s basically a much easier apple pie or tarte tatin. It’s delicious. I also like to make Finnish cinnamon buns and cupcakes.
Favorite angry bird and why?
Stella. Because I love pink. There are all these gender stereotypes like girls play support, girls like pink, but unfortunately I fall into every single one of those. So I play support and I like pink. I wish I could give a different answer but that’s the truth.