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Old 05-08-2010, 11:07 PM   #1
gcguide11
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Default MBA or Gameloft?

Hi guys,

Its the first time I'm posting on these forums and I need some serious help with this major fork I have reached in my life. I am almost about to complete college (3 weeks to my convocation) and am very much interested about breaking into the industry. I already have two game programming internships under my belt, and have got great recommendation letters from both employers. Also, both the games I worked are doing very well, winning best game awards in their respective genres. One game won an award at the MacWorld Expo 2010. I've always loved playing games and it has always been a dream for me to work professionally in the industry as a Game Producer.

Now that I have completed college, I have reached a fork in my life. I have two options to choose from -
1. A not very well paying entry level game programmer job in Gameloft, India
2. An MBA from the best management institute in India (IIM-A, ranked 67th worldwide)

Since becoming a game producer is the end goal I want to reach at the moment, I wanted some perspective on which option I should choose? Would an MBA land me an entry level producer job in gaming companies outside India? Or would some industry experience and then an MBA be more beneficial to reach my goal?

My thoughts on the issue are something like this. If I was to go for the MBA, and I do not get an entry level producer position, I could start off with a programming job. But I guess my MBA would make me climb the corporate ladder faster and put me at more managerial positions quicker.

If I was to go for the Gameloft job, I would gain some industry experience and it would be from a big name in the industry. This experience coupled with a great GMAT score could get me an MBA from one of the Ivy League schools, which would obviously be much more valuable than the MBA I have in hand at the moment. But again, these are all plans that have not yet materialized. Who knows what the future holds in store for me?

From a Producer's point of view, what would be the best route to take? Does it really matter where I do my MBA from?

Looking forward to all your opinions! Thanks!
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Old 05-09-2010, 03:27 AM   #2
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Welcome to the GameCareerGuide community!

Do you already have an offer from the best management institute in India? At the university I attend in the UK, at least 2-3 years work experience in a management position is a pre-requisite for the MBA programme. Although, if things are different at that institution then cool - it sounds like something you'd enjoy.

This article on Decision Grids should help you make your decision.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:01 AM   #3
gcguide11
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Thanks for your reply Adrir. To answer your question - Yes, I already do have an offer for an MBA from the best management institute in India. Its a very major reason for my confusion. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. I've always had a dream of doing my MBA from an Ivy League, but I guess thats the bird in the bush at the moment. Does this information change your perspective?

Also, thanks for the link. I will check it out and see how I can use it to help me with my dilemma.
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Old 05-09-2010, 09:43 PM   #4
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Smile Same boat... took a turn!

Hey GcGuide11,

I'm from India too, and I had the same problem. However, while I didnt try for IIMA(I'm not really the manager-manager types, money talk flows over my head!), I did try and am currently going through a course at the IIMB.

Now the thing that cinched the decision for me was the fact that I already have five years of experience on the developer front, and I prefer working in the industry. At the same time, I wanted to get an MBA since it really does help with understanding the business. That's why I chose to opt for a part-time MBA, and I'm quite happy with my decision (except for the workload from both office and college, that's killing me!).

However, for you, I would recommend pursuing the IIMA degree. The reason's simple. You are still young, you don't yet have experience, and to try and study after a while is extremely difficult. When you come out of IIMA (Assuming you've gotten through the GD/PI), not only are you aware of the business aspects, you are also armed with powerful contacts, not just in the form of your classmates (The IIM Alumni advantage can NOT be overlooked. It's extremely useful!).

Having said that, you dont have to stop looking into the games domain. It will be hard, but you can still arm yourself with indie game dev knowledge, and understand the domain better. God knows half the guys from IIM(BLACKI) have the time to quiz, watch tv series, play in a band, take part in fests... etc. etc. etc. Learning more about game dev should be a cinch. Sure, life's a pain for those two years, but trust me, its worth it.

Now, why am I harping on the alumni contacts part? If you're thinking anything like me, then the reason you want to be a producer, is so that you understand all the aspects of games development, co-ordinate the different activities, and gain an overview so you can probably get into starting a company. Probably.

If that is so, then the best time for you to do this "start-a-company", will be early on, probably before you're 28. Your contacts with the alumni, the IIMA brand that you hold, your experience with games development... all of these will help you in your quest to get funding, or to make your rep in the industry.

Hope this makes sense. If you want to discuss further, feel free to get in touch with me!
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Old 05-10-2010, 04:40 AM   #5
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@hellfury:
Thanks for your reply Hellfury. It's great to see someone on the forum from India and with a background I could relate to. Your reply makes a lot of sense to me and I'm getting more and more confident about doing my MBA from IIMA. I wanted to ask you one thing though. I believe that if one wants to make it big in the gaming industry, working abroad would be a very major part of the process. The gaming industry in India is still at a very nascent stage, and well the opportunities here are limited too. An MBA from an Ivy League would surely open doors abroad, but even these Ivy Leagues are not churning out a 100% employed batch. Do you think an MBA from IIMA would open doors for me abroad? I would like to start as a Producer after my MBA, and am also willing to work as a programmer for sometime and then work my way up to producership.
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:41 AM   #6
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Hey GCGuide,

Same story, same thoughts...!

I'm looking forward to working abroad after I'm done with my MBA. Will open my mind to the current state-of-the-art tech and processes.

However, you must realize that what you have in mind right now is a vision or a goal that you want to reach. Sometimes life pans out differently. An IIMA entrance is not just one bird in hand vs. two in bush. It's a whole chicken coop where golden eggs are layed.

Actually, that's too much of an exaggeration, but my point is your options become quite wide after the MBA. You can do ANYTHING you want to and people will pay you to do it (disclaimer: mostly). And if you're really passionate about games dev, and are not able to break through into the industry abroad, at some time you will surely be able to.

Use the skills you have to get into where you want. The MBA from IIMA will open a lot of doors for you, even some that you might not have considered yet. Have a plan, but dont be afraid to take a different path if forks come in the road.

Ok, enough of my rambling, to your actual question, yes, an MBA (especially from IIMA) will help when you're looking at becoming a producer. The world can use more efficient game producers who still know how to maintain the vision of the game, this area is not yet saturated.

It would always help if you did some part-time game dev on the way. Considered an indie game team that you could form in IIMA, or wherever you go to study? Having some completed games on your portfolio, no matter how simple/basic they seem, always carry weightage.
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:14 AM   #7
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Thanks a lot for your posts Hellfury. They were really helpful and put a lot of things into perspective for me. After talking with you and doing a little of my own research, I think an MBA from IIMA would be a good option after all!

Do send me a link to your facebook page through a private message. Good to meet you!
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Old 05-11-2010, 11:15 AM   #8
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If anyone else has any other opinion, I would surely like to hear it.. Keep posting guys!
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