PhoenixCon 2023: A Look Inside Phoenix Games’ Annual Meetup

In November, Phoenix Games studios from across the globe converged in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, for the much-anticipated PhoenixCon. This annual event serves as a dynamic hub for fostering connections and exchanging a wealth of insights. Unique to PhoenixCon, a different studio within the Phoenix Games group hosts the event each year. This year, over 60 members from various game studios under Phoenix Games’ umbrella journeyed to Cluj-Napoca for an event meticulously organized by Studio Firefly Services in Romania.

The diverse assembly included professionals from Phoenix Games and its affiliated studios, such as Upright Games, Well Played Games, Sixteen Tons Entertainment, Sad Panda Studios, and the host, Studio Firefly. The attendees represented various roles and expertise, ranging from studio management to specialists in LiveOps, Production, DevOps, User Acquisition, Art, Data Analysis, QA, Localization, Community Management, Customer Support, and more.

Join us as we recap PhoenixCon 2023, highlighting the event’s most memorable moments.

Three Days of Insights and Collaboration

From November 22nd to 24th, the convention focused on some of the most pressing topics in the industry, like Game Development and AI in LiveOps. The presentations were divided into four distinct tracks: Product, Tech, Art, and the innovative Phoenix Uplift Platform.

The first day saw Phoenix Games representatives take the stage with insightful talks. Delving into the most successful live ops strategies took the spotlight as the first topic on this year’s agenda. Following that, Phoenix Games delved into the synergy between AI and human creativity in the presentation titled “AI and I: A Synergy to Surpass Boundaries and Boost Capacity.” Moreover, the risks associated with AI, coupled with the provision of practical advice, were also integral aspects covered on this day.

Day two featured more Phoenix Games members and representatives from studios like Studio Firefly and Well Played Games. Notably, this was the first time PhoenixCon welcomed external industry experts, including VP-level live operations professionals from two of the biggest European mobile gaming companies who shared their extensive experience in scaling development and content teams in Live Ops.

The final day continued with insights from Phoenix Games and its studios. Highlights included Well Played Games’ sneak peek into the development of the upcoming Vampire: The Masquerade – Clans of London, a new collectible card game. Felix Pietsch from Upright Games wrapped up the talks with a sincere reflection on the past year, the significance of sustaining a game for a decade, strategizing for the upcoming decade while also entertaining fresh game development and the comfort that comes from being a part of a collective effort.

Fostering Corporate Culture and Community

After a hiatus due to the pandemic, both this year as well as during last year’s edition organized in Frankfurt, Germany, the eagerness to reconvene was palpable. PhoenixCon isn’t just about daytime talks and workshops; it’s an opportunity to build connections in a more informal setting each evening.

The event is a vital platform for sharing experiences and engaging in meaningful discourse, enriching the unique culture across Phoenix Games and its studios. The blend of discussions, workshops, networking, and socializing opportunities truly encapsulates the spirit of PhoenixCon.

As the crowd naturally moved towards their familiar cliques and took seats next to their teammates, Phoenix Games’ COO Todd English encouraged everyone to step out of their comfort zone and sit beside different individuals. By the conclusion of the three days, the group had undergone a transformation in both its cohesion and dynamics.

The real strength of PhoenixCon lies in bringing together individuals from all Phoenix Games studios to interact, share knowledge, and build lasting relationships. These connections are pivotal in nurturing the distinctive culture that defines the Phoenix Games group.