As one of the few female creative leaders in the gaming industry, Margot Rodde is driven by a love of the video game world and a passion for using experiential and influencer marketing to connect brands and fans. Rodde has been on the forefront of the video game evolution, working with a long lineup of gaming and tech clients (including CCP, Xbox/Microsoft, and Playstation) before founding WePlay, a boutique experiential marketing agency specializing in video game events and influencer activations. With Rodde’s skill at identifying not only what’s now, but what’s next, she was proud to count Oculus as a client when the VR gaming company was in its infancy — all the way through its acquisition by Facebook. Other high-profile clients included EA, Riot Games, Nexon, Epic Games, Razer, Gearbox, Techland, CCP, IGN, 505 Games and more.
Rodde’s next adventure in the world of gaming is guiding NFLPA-owned OneTeam and leading their video game marketing division in building meaningful creative campaigns to support the company’s high profile video game partners, such as EA, Konami, and Dapper. “OneTeam has access to athletes, and athletes are influencers,” Rodde says. “I’m excited about bringing together athletes and video game influencers in creative IRL and online campaigns.”
Tell us about WePlay and how you came to develop the business? What inspired you to take a leap of faith as an entrepreneur in the gaming industry?
At a previous creative agency, I came across a video game developer, CCP games, and fell in love with their work. When I decided to start my own agency, they followed me, as they loved my creative work. Shortly after, they introduced me to the founders of what at the time was a small startup, Oculus. They were working in partnership on the first VR game, Eve Valkyrie. Oculus ended up hiring my agency to design and produce all their experiential campaigns, from activations at E3 and Gamescom to Sundance and SXSW. I was so inspired by CCP and Oculus and the incredibly creative and innovative work they were doing, I decided to specialize in gaming…and it is the best decision I ever made.
The gaming industry is evolving constantly, what keeps you at the forefront of the trends?
Through my work with publishers, I experienced the evolution of marketing in video games, particularly with the emergence of Influencers. I have developed strong connections in the influencer world, which allows me to keep at the forefront of trends, especially in the space of creative content for new gen platforms.
Working in a historically male-dominated industry, what has been your journey breaking down barriers and stepping into leadership roles?
I have been lucky to have been surrounded by male industry leaders who believed in me, trusted me to deliver top-quality work, and helped me through my business development journey and stepping into a leadership role. I feel that my personality and way of approaching work fits the industry and I’ve not had any bad experiences.
You are about to step into a new role leading the video game marketing division with OneTeam, what advice can you give to young women just starting their career in gaming?
I feel the video game industry is opening up to women more and more, so it is a matter of finding the organization that will support you and respect you as a woman in gaming. Research is key.
What attributes do you look for in team members?
Honesty is important, so that as a leader, you are able to understand what is working or not working in the organization. Someone that’s not afraid speak their mind, but to step in. Willingness, I guess, is also an important attribute. No matter what, just try. And obviously creativity – given our line of business.
What does the future of gaming look like?
The metaverse. Ready player one. Or some version of it, within Fornite.
What are your favourite podcasts and apps?
StockX – because I love sneakers
Discord – because the possibilities are huge in terms of building authentic communities
TikTok – because it’s fun and refreshing
Creator Economics: Love the influencer space, especially the rise of MrBeast; super interested in learning more from the best people in the business
Gary Vaynerchuk: relevant to keep myself informed on the latest trends
Rich Roll: love his story, as well as the health and wellness topics