VINCENT GALLOPAIN ON THE IMPORTANCE OF FINDING PASSION WITHIN YOUR PROFESSION
The industries that shape our culture, such as entertainment, music and gaming, are undeniably best supported and nurtured by passionate people. As Vincent Gallopain can attest from his personal and professional experience, the gaming industry in particular is exceptionally passionate, with the industry being one that certainly can challenge one's resilience. Throughout the past two decades, Vincent has turned his love for video games into a spirited career, one rooted in undeniable passion. His area of expertise lies in public relations and marketing, and through his own firm, XOGO Consulting, he represents a roster of clients in North America and across the globe.
For Vincent, one of the most intriguing elements of working in the gaming industry is in how it is constantly evolving and growing. From keeping up with the substantial release calendar of new games to adapting to the consistent advancements being made on the technological side, it is nearly impossible to be bored by the industry as long as one's underlying passion remains intact. Vincent's knowledge spans every facet of the gaming realm, allowing him to build a strong network and know where his specific strengths are. His work in public relations has led him to work with all sorts of creators around the world and play an integral role in the launch of countless video games. From getting his start as a journalist to now assisting with business development and executing campaigns, Vincent finds himself just as inspired by the industry today as he was when he first became captivated by the medium growing up in France.
During a recent conversation with DropLabs, Vincent spoke candidly about his enthusiasm and love for gaming, how passion is a necessary part of one's profession and what he believes is the most rewarding part of his fast-paced day-to-day.
What do you do for a living and how did you get started?
As a brief overview, I started as a journalist back in 1998, focusing on video games and working for the print press. This was all in French, because as you can probably tell, I'm French! [Laughs] I moved to TV for a year and then focused on the web because the print press was slowly dying. In 2007, I ended up working for a website called jeuxvideo.com, which is a French video gaming website. I quit that job at the end of 2011 to transition into a marketing / PR career, which is what I'm doing right now. I currently handle public relations, marketing events and a bit of business development as well. I'm a one-man band [Laughs]. After what is maybe 21 or 22 years now, I have grown quite a substantial network in the gaming world, which helps with getting new clients and allows me to introduce people to others, and so on.
What initially encouraged you to gravitate toward the video game industry?
Just like everyone in the industry--well actually everybody that lasts in the industry--it's an industry you get into by passion. First, you have to be passionate about the video game medium. It's fascinating to end up working in a field that you're passionate about, but because of that passion, it can be hard at times and requires a lot of resilience. That's the number one quality you need to have in order to have longevity in this industry. You won't have resilience if you're not passionate about something, right?
That's pretty much what got me into video gaming at first was my passion for games and connecting with people through them. At times, of course, you're going to enjoy the work because you're working in the field you want and that's great, but when it gets tough, it pushes you even more because of that passion. Then, on the other hand, when you want to relax and just let yourself play the video games because that's what you like to do, you start thinking about how maybe it could have been done that way or other hypotheticals and then you're back thinking about work when you just want to relax! [Laughs] Don't get me wrong though; it's a joy to be able to evolve and work in an industry that you're really passionate about.
The gaming field has evolved so much over the years. What do you think has been the most interesting thing about the technology aspect of the industry in general?
It's definitely an industry that keeps you on your toes; it moves with a particular force. So, every time there's a new processor or a new chip that allows more computing power, you're gonna have better games that are more reactive, that have better graphics, and so on and so forth. It's really constantly moving, and it's pretty exponential. So, there's all these trends and general innovation that keeps that medium progressing. When you talk about trends, like VR for instance, that is definitely somehow part of the future of video games. And then outside of trends, there's stuff that is still gonna be there in 20 years, which is interesting to consider, too.
VR is a good example to look at. Even if the market's not necessarily ready [for VR], because the entry point is too expensive for the majority of consumers. However, down the line, it'll get cheaper and cheaper, and more people will have access to these experiences.
What surprised you the most about trying out DropLabs Technology?
I actually met the DropLabs team at Two Bit Circus, which is a theme park in Los Angeles that is entirely focused on video games and was founded by the son of Nolan Bushnell, who created Atari back in the day. This is a place where you find a lot of arcade games and it's comparable to a Dave & Buster's or a Chuck E. Cheese. There is a good blend of video games and carnival-style games. VR is represented and there's some escape rooms as well. I met the DropLabs team during an event that Two Bit Circus hosts a couple times a year where different people showcase what they're working on in the industry.
After a talk on location with the DropLabs team, I was really curious to try the product for myself and see what kind of sensation you can get from a device that vibrates on the body. I've always been interested in that kind of tactile sound technology. Later on, I went to the DropLabs office and I got a nice demo. It was super cool. It really adds a new dimension to the experience; that's how I would put it. It's a different sensation and is really fascinating how it touches one of the most sensory parts of your body in the way that it does. DropLabs is offering people new sensations and the ability to enhance any kind of audio experience.
How could this technology benefit the gaming industry, in your opinion?
The first thing I thought about is definitely that it could be, on the competitive side of gaming, a very unfair advantage. As an eSports athlete, you might have to get used to it, but you can definitely use the information you get from your feet to your benefit. When there's footsteps or any kind of sound that you can receive in your ears, you can feel them as well. So, it's the same information being shared but you can absorb it differently, and that could definitely give an unfair advantage to an eSports team. So, that's the first thing I thought about.
Just on a personal standpoint, outside of gaming, it's also incredible when you're watching a movie. If you think about that scene in Jurassic Park, where the dinosaurs are coming and you can see the water moving in the glass, well, you feel it with the shoes. You can feel the vibrations from the ground up and that's touching on a brand new area of sensation.
What would you say is the most rewarding part about your job and helping spread awareness for these games?
I would say working with passionate people and helping people to be successful so they can keep doing what they do best. Definitely spreading the word on the projects that deserve it and helping them be noticed by the public.
What are some words of advice you'd like to share for someone who is interested in finding a career in the gaming industry?
My general advice would be to ask themselves the question of what do they want to do. I don't have any special talents [Laughs]. I have a passion for games but I don't have any talents for coding whatsoever. I have learned some things in my life, but for me, to be able to work in the field, I had no choice but to start off as a critic and go from there. So, they should ask themselves the question, "What am I good at? What can I bring to the table that would help people?"
Once again, at the end of the day, it's a job, a passion and a job. You're going to spend countless hours working on something, so it's really important that you enjoy what you're doing. Some people enjoy writing lines of code, finding problems, solving them and so on. That's what it's all about. Don't get stuck in something you don't like. I would ask, "What are you good at and what do you want to do?" Once that's narrowed down, there's a lot of different jobs and opportunities in the video game industry. You can be on the visual side, you can be in the technical part of it, you can work on game mechanics. It's really diverse. That's fascinating, as well. To be able to work alongside very creative people in so many different fields is amazing. I see that all combined come together to create one piece. It's awesome.
What are some things that you're currently working on?
I am promoting video games as that is mainly what I do. I have a bunch of video games I'm in charge of right now. There's around 10 that are coming out this year. I am currently working on promoting Beyond a Steel Sky (Revolution Software), Thunder Rally (Typical Entertainment), Aeolis Tournament (Beyond Fun Studio), Dungeon of the Endless (Playdigious) and The Almost Gone (Playdigious). I also represent the French publisher Microids in North America, and they have some good stuff coming like the remake of the FPS XIII.
Vincent Gallopain can be found on the web on LinkedIn.
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