Womenize! – Inspiring Stories is our weekly series featuring inspirational women from games and tech. For this edition we talked to Betsy Abendroth, Director of PR at Devsisters USA, INC. Betsy tells us how the Cookie Run game series has been created to reach a diverse audience and how PR evolved throughout the years. Read more about Betsy in this interview:
Hi Betsy! How did you decide to move into games after 16 years of working in the film industry?

I have been interested in the gaming industry for over a decade. My passion for film is never ending, but I have always been excited about how players connect with games and form passionate communities around them. I am also an avid mobile gamer and paid close attention to the marketing and PR side of the industry. I noticed many similarities between film and video games, which made me realize I could leverage my experience in this new field.

Previously, I worked at Pixar Animation Studios during Covid and was laid off in January 2021. I was given a generous runway to think about my next move, which was a perfect time to revisit my interest in the gaming industry. Also, it was paramount that I work for a company that aligned with my core values at this point in my career.

When I applied for the job at Devsisters, USA, there wasn’t a lot of information about the company (we run like a start-up within a larger company) online. Still, after my first call with HR, I knew that there was something special about this opportunity. I had never worked in a “start-up” environment before, but I knew that there would be tremendous room for growth which was exciting.

Since I started, I have been able to utilize my experience in the film industry in thoughtful and impactful campaigns and have been able to collaborate across all departments. Though we are a small team, we can move mountains when we all work together, and at the end of the day, that’s a pretty good place to be.

What inspires and supports you in creating new innovative media and PR campaigns?

PR has changed so much over the last decade and is constantly evolving. Social media has changed how news is disseminated and has made the one size fits all approach outdated and uninspired. I find this a fascinating time in PR and marketing, mainly because brands can interact more closely with their audiences.

I’m an early adopter, and I pay close attention to how companies and brands utilize media and social platforms. I love connecting with people, and social media enables us to reach niche communities worldwide in an organic way. Audiences no longer take things at face value and expect more authenticity to establish brand loyalty, pushing us to evolve our approach.

I’m also inspired by the younger generation’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Our game Cookie Run: Kingdom has resonated with communities because of our dedication to creating a cast of characters that everyone can see themselves in.

When establishing a brand culture for a game, where do you start?

Brand culture starts with the work culture of organizations; in my experience, when a team feels supported and valued, that carries over to other aspects of the company. Devsisters USA is no exception. I was attracted to the role because of the company’s commitment to a growth mindset and valuing everyone’s contributions. We are a small team, but operating under this structure enables us to be champions of our brand and games.

User experience is another crucial aspect of creating a thriving brand culture. Devsisters have always committed to bringing joy through the power of play. We value our communities and are constantly evolving our approach to engage them. Our Senior Social Media Manager, Alyssa Liu, has captured the voice and tone of “Cookie Run: Kingdom” so well that our social platforms have become an extension of the game. We always strive to make the best possible game in everything we do. From creating a cast of diverse and inclusive characters to worldbuilding to telling compelling stories to our in-game rewards, we want to make the best experience possible. We believe by leaning into all of the above, we can establish and reach a wide audience.

Thanks for this interview, Betsy!

Betsy’s links: LinkedInDevsisters USA, INC.

Womenize! – Inspiring Stories Feature by Sophie Brugmann