The games scene in Berlin has evolved and developed a lot in the past years. What strengths does the city have as a games location in your eyes?
Over the past 5 years, Berlin’s gaming industry has seen some impressive growth. It’s really great to see the wide variety of studios founded in Berlin, as well as the wealth of talent they attract.
You founded Altagram a few years ago in Berlin. What were the reasons for you choosing the city as your location for the founding of your own company? Are there certain factors that made Berlin especially appealing?
Yes, I am the founder and owner of Altagram, created in 2013. However, I got my start in Berlin in 2006 when I founded my first company, a German GmbH. In 2013, I left this company (partly owned by another French company at that time), and started Altagram with some amazing former employees. As I was already in Berlin, it was completely natural for me to stay here. There’s no better place to create a company specialized in game localization. While in the past it was difficult to find qualified gaming translators willing to relocate, Berlin is now attracting talented people. It’s THE place to be these days.
Altagram´s field of work is the localization of video games. How is the market for localization companies in Berlin? Are there many competitors or are you one of the few companies offering this kind of service?
I really like this question. :) The funny thing is, I personally know most of my competitors in Berlin (ex-employees, my ex-company, etc.). However, video game localization is a niche industry, so until the gaming industry stops growing, there’s more than enough room for everyone. :) That said, it’s now more important than ever to maintain a great reputation for delivering high-quality translations.
The magazine GamesWirtschaft voted you among the top ten female managers in the games industry within Germany; congratulations! Still, there are more men than women in leading positions in many big German games companies. Did you find it difficult to assert yourself in a male-dominated business world? Or are there no differences at all made in this respect?
While it’s true that the industry I love is a very male-dominated business, it’s actually the same for most industries. The fact is, in the video game industry, there is more openness and tolerance at high levels than more traditional industries. Being a manager or CEO isn’t easy in the day-to-day, whether you’re a man, woman, or non-binary. For sure, being a woman might be more complicated at certain times, and there are always moments when it’s clear that if I were a man, things might have been easier. But in the end, I’m not interested in feeling victimized, and I prefer to move forward.
Altagram has been growing a lot over the past years and you currently have three locations – in Berlin, Montreal and Seoul. What are the next steps for the company? Are you planning to expand even more or are three offices enough for the moment?
For now, there are no plans to expand to any other countries. We want to stabilize our growth and focus on further developing the team spirit across all continents/companies. The most exciting project right now is the development of the first game culturalization platform, granted with a seal of excellence by the European commission with 2M€ of funding. This is a big win for Altagram, which is independent and wants to stay so for many years to come.
Thank you, Marie!