QD&ME – LISA PENDSE – VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING
Quantic Dream is a French video game studio that brings together employees with different profiles and from different backgrounds, both geographically and professionally. In this third entry of a series of blogs, dedicated to introducing Quantic Dream employees, meet Lisa, Vice President of Marketing.
Quantic Dream: Please introduce yourself! What’s your name, where are you from, and what is your role at QD?
Lisa.P: My name is Lisa Pendse and I very proudly call Paris home! I grew up near Boston and also lived in Los Angeles and San Francisco, California in the USA before luck and opportunity brought me to France almost 6 years ago. I am the Vice President of Marketing at Quantic Dream.
Quantic Dream: How did you come to work in the video games industry? Was it a lifelong dream, or did you luckily stumble into it?
Lisa.P: My journey to video games started in that OTHER entertainment medium – movies! I spent the first half of my career working at Sony Pictures in Hollywood, and found my way to video games thanks to Ubisoft, which I joined in San Francisco in 2011. I moved to France in 2014 to work in their Paris studio, and then made my way to Quantic Dream about a year ago. To say I luckily stumbled into this industry is an understatement. The friends and mentorship network I’ve made in my close to 10 years working in games is unlike anything I could’ve imagined. Video games have taken me around the world and showed me how intense true fans’ passion can be for experiences that really engage them. Selling a $12, 2-hour movie experience was very different from selling a $60, 40+ hour experience and it’s a difference that I really cherish – video games are in no way a passive entertainment medium. Players can put their heart and soul into experiencing a game and I am really lucky to be a very small part of bringing new games to them.
Quantic Dream: Let’s talk about your job at Quantic Dream! Could you elaborate more on your role, and the role of your team?
Lisa.P: My role is to lead all marketing activities at Quantic Dream. I’m in charge of telling you about our games through all channels! This means everything from advertising, trailers, digital marketing, email marketing, website marketing, search engine marketing, partnership marketing, and more. I’m a member of the new Publishing Department at Quantic which includes Public Relations, Social Media, and Business Development. I absolutely love marketing and advertising, because I truly believe it serves an important function in the communication of works of art like video games.
There is so much to tell prospective players about a game, its worlds, and its experiences, and thanks to the ability to carefully craft our messages to speak the right consumers at the right time, we’re able to share the game with people who would be interested in it. There are a lot of elements that make people consider a game – reviews, endorsements from our favorite influencers, word of mouth – and trailers, digital content, and ads are a part of that universe of information that hopefully makes a player interested in checking out a new game. My role and the role of my team is to find the right way to talk about a game, find the right message to show the audiences why they would be interested in it, and figure out how to deliver that message to the right person at the right time. We’re also responsible for making sure that the super talented production team’s vision of the game is properly represented in our marketing.
Quantic Dream: Tell us more about the members of your team. Any fun story to share?
Lisa.P: The Publishing Team is a really fun, happy bunch who are excited to work on Quantic Dream’s projects every day! We recently learned that we all have a big affinity for karaoke (even if some of us don’t prefer to sing – can’t relate to that myself, put a mic in front of me and you’ll have to tear it out of my hands) and we recently had a fantastic night out together singing and dancing. I think we’re going to make it a regular tradition!
Quantic Dream: What are your external inspirations that are reflected in your job?
Lisa.P: I am OBSESSED with the digital landscape. I’m an “elder millennial” as people in my generation like to call ourselves, as we’re a special generation that grew up just as the Internet and the digitalization of our media went on the upswing. So I consider myself a digital native who still remembers what life was like before Twitter, and that place in between two eras of technology inspires me as a marketer every day. There are ways to leverage technology to tell stories clearly and simply, which to me is the hallmark of a good marketing and advertising campaign. I’m on Tik Tok, Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, VSCO, Reddit – you name it. I love to read peoples’ opinions, love to see their take on things that are happening in the world, how they’re reacting to a latest trend.
My experience as an expat has also enriched my worldview in ways I didn’t expect. When I worked in America, I knew of course that there was a big wide world out there, where people engage in media in different ways, but I never really understood it well until I moved to Europe and suddenly had the proximity to travel to many, many places around the world. Traveling and living among different cultures (I visit my family in India every December!) inspires me to think globally, but act locally whenever I can. I work hard to bring a global perspective to a team that is centralized in Paris, and together we are learning to think globally and look to the entire world for inspiration.
My experience as an expat has also enriched my worldview in ways I didn’t expect
This has made me more aware of the adaptability of our marketing messages… what works in America may not work as-is in France, for example, and vice-versa! Only by being so lucky to travel to different places and actually seeing what ads I get on Twitter, or what billboards or TV commercials look like, was I able to really grasp the importance of cultural nuance in communications.
Quantic Dream: Be careful, BIG question… What are your favourite games?
Lisa.P: When I love something, I love it fully, thoroughly, without reserve. The games that have my undying, unyielding love include Phil Fish’s FEZ – the one game I wish I could experience for the first time again, and that soundtrack from Disasterpeace sends me into the universe! Animal Crossing is my idea of a perfect gaming experience – chat with your animal neighbors! Plant flowers! So much to discover and experience! I have a countdown going until New Horizons is released! And, without a doubt, Civilization. My interest in history absolutely started when I played the original Civ around my cousins’ IBM Tandy in the early 90s. More recently, the Link’s Awakening re-release on Switch gave me more hours of pure joy than any other game has in a while, and I’m also a huge fan of indie games like Papers, Please and Stardew Valley. And finally, when I played Detroit: Become Human, I don’t think my heartrate calmed down for a week afterwards, it was so awesomely intense.
Quantic Dream: Tell us more about your hobbies outside of work.
Lisa.P: I just adore living in Paris, and my hobbies here consist of finding new little museums to duck into (my latest find is the Cognac-Jay in Le Marais – I recommend it!), traveling as much as I can, and reading trashy historical fiction novels. I do my best to appreciate the incredible cultural experiences that Paris has to offer – I blissfully join the queues to visit limited-time exhibitions in our incredible museums, walk along the Seine, and meet friends for picnics in one of the amazing green spaces around town.
Quantic Dream: What does your perfect Friday night look like?
Lisa.P: My Friday nights revolve around taking advantage of all the wonderful things that living in Paris allows. I love to catch a performance at the Opera Bastille – sometimes they have 15€ (~$17) seats up in the nosebleeds where you can see some of the greatest opera and ballet in the world performed, for the price of a glass of wine in New York! I also like to unwind from the week with an indie game on my Switch (next up: Sayonara Wild Hearts), sharing some laughs with friends over “apéro,” which is the French tradition of meeting for pre-dinner time drinks and snacks, and catching up on texts and calls with my best friends all around the world.
Quantic Dream: Do you have a message for our readers?
Lisa.P: I’m really honored to be a part of Quantic Dream’s future and I’ve been totally amazed by the passion and love that Quantic fans have for our games and our studio! Thank you for sharing your messages on social media and please never stop!
Also remember that you have opportunity to do a lot with your life. I never dreamed I’d be living in Paris, yet the chance came to me when I was in my 30s and I’ve never looked back. Don’t be afraid to take a leap when opportunities present themselves to you, because you never know where the path may lead and you never know when, how or where they will show up! Keep your eyes and mind open and I promise that life will surprise you!
Quantic Dream: Final question! Chocolate cake or Fruit pie?
Lisa.P: I feel like I didn’t have tastebuds until I had the strawberry tart at Le Petit Marché in the Le Marias neighbourhood of Paris. So, that!
Thanks for reading! If you want to keep in touch with her, follow Lisa on Twitter!
Pictures by Julien Braconnier