[Alumni Story] Arthur MICHEL (Madbox): at the controls of his career

When Arthur Michel (who graduated the Grande École Program in 2020) was playing Pokémon on his portable games console, could he ever have imagined he’d one day work in the video games industry? Probably not, but everything he did that followed on from that, whether it was recreational, academic or professional, mapped out a path that suited him to a tee: logical, demanding and off the beaten track. How did he find his niche in an industry that generates 170 billion euros a year? He tells us his story…

When did you first develop a passion for video games?
Luckily for me, I had access to comics, books and films from a very early age, so I developed a vivid imagination and enjoyed some exciting adventures. I was soon drawn to video games because they offered the additional bonus of being in control! At the age of 9, I was playing Pokémon on my Game Boy, at 11 I was hunting monsters on PSP. Later, in high school, I was a guild leader in World of Warcraft. At that time, it never crossed my mind I’d be able to earn my living in this field!

How did this unusual career path come about?
I’ve always been encouraged by my parents, who really pushed me to do what I loved. I chose the demanding, general curriculum at IÉSEG to give me time to fine-tune my plans while keeping as many doors open as possible. In the fourth year, I opted for the finance speciality to gain a better understanding of the workings of a company, particularly the economic aspects. At the same time, internships enabled me to gain a foothold in the sector and demonstrate my ability with each new work experience. It took patience and I had to knock on a lot of doors.

Is the video games industry open to business school graduates?
A video game studio is a business in its own right! So you can work in finance, marketing, human resources and so on. You don’t need to spend every night on your console, but showing a particular interest in the industry is obviously a plus. If you’re interested in the production side of things, you could aim for a producing role, responsible for ensuring that the project is properly managed, ie. delivering the best quality in the shortest possible time. It’s an exciting job, right at the heart of the action, requiring you to interact with a wide range of people.

What are the future trends in this sector?
This industry is maturing to a certain extent and growth slowed in 2022. Paradoxically, there have never been so many opportunities, because video games combine a lot of different disciplines (visuals, game design, music, technology, etc.). The guiding principles for the coming years will be accessibility and the social experience: ease of play, on different platforms and connecting as many people as possible. I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us… and to contribute to it!

Fits in your pocket!

Madbox‘s mission is to entertain millions of gamers by providing them fun experiences to share. The company, an independent studio with 70 employees, is offering free games for smartphones.
Its latest success is Pocket Champs, in which players become the coach of a little racing character. Like a Tamagotchi, you have to train it and make the right decisions to take it as far as possible.
As Game Director, Arthur managed the creative vision for the project right up to the game’s launch in summer 2022. Download it on your smartphone if you haven’t already!

This article was written by Luna Créations for IÉSEG Network’s magazine, IÉS #17.

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