Tue, 21 May 2024 Today's Paper

Marta Olejarz Director (UK), BoomBit

23 March 2024 12:00 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


As the Director  BoomBit (uk), Marta Olejarz brings a wealth of expertise and innovation to the dynamic landscape of mobile gaming. Her career trajectory, spanning both the music and gaming industries, exemplifies the fusion of creativity, entrepreneurship, and technological advancement. From her roots as a musician to her pivotal role in marketing some of the gaming industry's most acclaimed titles, Marta's commitment to pushing boundaries and fostering inclusivity shines through in her endeavours. With BoomBit's sights set on global expansion, Marta is spearheading efforts to penetrate emerging markets like Sri Lanka. Given the island nation's burgeoning gaming and e-sports scene, it presents a prime opportunity for industry growth. Recognizing this potential, BoomBit is actively exploring strategies to establish a presence in Sri Lanka, leveraging its expertise and innovative approach to deliver captivating gaming experiences to local audiences. In an intimate setting at Soho House in Mayfair, over a cup of freshly brewed coffee, Marta shares insights into her professional journey, the evolution of BoomBit, and the company's strategy for expanding its footprint in Sri Lanka's thriving gaming ecosystem.

Can you share with us in summary your personal journey; from classroom to boardroom?

Growing up immersed in a business-centric environment, courtesy of my entrepreneurial parents, I absorbed the intricacies of the corporate world from an early age. While accompanying them to meetings and spending countless hours at their office, I honed various skills like coding and graphic design amidst a milieu of creativity. Despite this upbringing, I harboured a desire to forge my own path rather than tread in my parents' footsteps. Thus, I embarked on a journey into the realm of music, cultivating a career in the industry from my formative years. It was during this musical odyssey that I stumbled upon the intersection of music and gaming, sparking the inception of a start-up venture with a close friend. This endeavour reignited my passion for the industry, unveiling its immense potential. A chance encounter at a gaming conference led to a collaboration with the creator of Piano Tiles 2, catapulting my music into the gaming world and opening doors to unforeseen opportunities. Drawing from my experiences as a self-made marketer for my music career and later collaborating with top-tier PR and marketing firms, I gleaned invaluable insights that now inform my endeavours in the ever-evolving landscape of gaming. 

2 Can you share with us in summary your professional journey; from Country Music to Mobile Game Development?

My professional journey traces back to the tender age of seven when I first picked up a guitar and discovered my passion for music. Over the years, I diligently honed my skills, culminating in the release of my debut single, "All About Us," during my teenage years. The track swiftly ascended the ranks, securing the top spot in Germany and clinching the fourth position in Norway on the Google Play Country Music charts within its inaugural week. Accompanied by a visually captivating music video that amassed over 2.5 million views on YouTube, the song marked a significant milestone in my career. As fate would have it, my musical compositions found a new stage in the world of mobile gaming, featuring prominently in acclaimed titles like Piano Tiles 2 and Dancing Line, collectively amassing over one billion downloads and captivating an audience of eleven million users. Building on this success, my subsequent single, "I Need a Love Story," made its exclusive premiere on Taste of Country, where it enjoyed an uninterrupted reign atop their "Best Music Video of The Week" chart for over a month. The accompanying music video further garnered widespread acclaim, accumulating over 1.5 million views. From my humble beginnings as a budding country musician to my current endeavours in the realm of mobile game development, my journey embodies a fusion of artistic expression and technological innovation, with each step serving as a testament to the transformative power of passion and perseverance.

What inspired the transition, and how did your background in music influence your approach to gaming?

Prompted by the triumph of integrating my music into gaming platforms, I felt compelled to delve deeper into the industry, delving into the realms of coding and game development. This newfound pursuit culminated in the conception of an innovative project: to complement my upcoming single release, "Not Heroes," with a bespoke game titled Marta Heroes Highway. Collaborating with a talented team, we embarked on the journey of game development, ensuring that the game featured a character resembling myself from the animated cartoon music video. The creative endeavour proved to be a revelation, igniting my passion for game development, and immersing me in the dynamic world of the gaming industry. What captivated me most was the marketing aspect; I relished the opportunity to devise the entire marketing strategy for both the single and game release. This hands-on involvement in crafting promotional campaigns served as a pivotal stepping stone, guiding me towards my current pursuits in the industry.

As a woman in a leadership role within the gaming industry, how do you perceive the current landscape for women in this predominantly male-oriented field?

I'm witnessing a significant shift in the gaming industry's landscape, one that is increasingly inclusive and welcoming to women. It's heartening to observe a growing presence of women within the industry, particularly in leadership positions. This trend brings me immense joy  3 and optimism for the future. As women in a predominantly male-oriented field, we recognize the value we bring to the table and are dedicated to supporting one another. Despite our relatively smaller numbers, our solidarity fosters a collaborative environment where we strive to uplift and empower each other.

Are there initiatives or strategies that BoomBit employs to encourage diversity and inclusion within the company, particularly for women in gaming?

At BoomBit, fostering diversity and inclusion is a top priority. We actively seek to create an environment where everyone feels valued and empowered. One of the ways we champion diversity is by ensuring that our female employees have prominent roles, with many of them serving as speakers at game conferences. Additionally, during the pandemic, we initiated virtual meetups exclusively for women within the company, providing a platform for knowledge-sharing and hosting online workshops tailored to their needs. Recognizing the invaluable contributions of our female colleagues, we consider them integral to our company's success. With a global workforce representing diverse backgrounds, we facilitate connections and foster camaraderie through visits to our various offices worldwide and the organization of inclusive events for all employees to participate in and enjoy.

When it comes to hiring coders for BoomBit, what is the company's approach, and where do they typically source talent from? Has BoomBit explored opportunities for recruitment in South Asia, considering the diverse gaming talent pool in that region?

BoomBit adopts a flexible approach to hiring coders, particularly since the onset of the pandemic, embracing both remote and hybrid work setups. Our focus lies not on geographical location but rather on the skills and expertise that candidates bring to the table. Whether talent hails from South Asia or any other region, diversity and proficiency are paramount considerations in our recruitment process. Those interested in joining our team can explore opportunities via our Careers page, where individuals from all corners of the globe are encouraged to apply. Exceptions are made only for roles necessitating onsite presence at our Poland office. While we have previously collaborated with talents from South Asia, such as Funcell Games, the creators behind titles like Dog Life Simulator and Mom Life Simulator based in Kolkata, India, we remain keen on further exploring the vast gaming talent pool in the region. We welcome opportunities to engage with and tap into the diverse expertise that South Asia has to offer.

Where can gamers download BoomBit's mobile games, and what platforms do they primarily focus on?

Gamers can access BoomBit's diverse portfolio of mobile games across a variety of platforms. Our titles are readily downloadable from prominent online stores including the iOS AppStore, Google Play, Nintendo, Samsung, and Amazon. Additionally, we extend our reach to cater to niche audiences by offering our games on select alternative stores, ensuring accessibility for all players regardless of their preferred platform. 

4 Can you share any awards or recognitions that BoomBit has received for its mobile games?

BoomBit has been privileged to receive several prestigious awards and accolades for our mobile games. Among these honours, notable mentions include "The Most Innovative Game of 2017" on Google Play for "Build a Bridge" and the CEEGA award for "Best Mobile Game" in 2019. These recognitions underscore our commitment to delivering innovative and engaging gaming experiences to our players.

Do you find any parallels between your experiences in the music industry and your current role in marketing?

There are indeed striking parallels between my experiences in the music industry and my current role in marketing. Both realms share a fundamental essence rooted in creativity and entertainment. The skills honed-in one domain often prove highly transferable to the other, fostering a seamless transition and enriching my approach to marketing with a diverse range of perspectives and insights.

How did you navigate the decision to leave your music career, and what factors played a crucial role in that decision?

The decision to transition away from my music career felt like a natural progression, influenced by various factors that had been brewing over time. Even during my music endeavours, I maintained a keen interest in the gaming industry, attending conferences and seeking opportunities to merge my passions for music and gaming. However, the onset of the pandemic marked a significant turning point. With travel restrictions limiting my ability to pursue music-related engagements, I found myself at a crossroads. Reflecting on my music career, I realized the toll it had taken on aspects of my personal life. The constant travel and instability left me feeling disconnected from my family and longing for a sense of stability. Yearning for a new challenge and seeking a more balanced lifestyle, I made the decision to fully embrace the gaming industry. While transitioning from music to gaming posed its challenges, I viewed it as an opportunity to redefine success on my own terms. I aspired to strike a balance between career ambitions and personal fulfilment, aspiring to "have it all" in the truest sense of the phrase. Though daunting, this pursuit of balance imbued me with a sense of empowerment, reinforcing my belief in the possibility of achieving fulfilment in both professional and personal spheres.

Can you share some notable successes or achievements that you are particularly proud of in your professional journey?

Reflecting on my professional journey, there are several accomplishments that stand out as particularly meaningful to me. One of the highlights was the opportunity to contribute to the  5 success of Dancing Line and Piano Tiles 2, which served as a pivotal moment in merging my passions for music and gaming. Creating music videos for songs featured in both games was a dream come true, but what truly fuelled my excitement was the chance to innovate within the gaming experience itself. I proposed the idea of integrating a button within the game menu of Dancing Line, directing players to the corresponding music video. To my delight, the developer embraced this concept, allowing us to leverage the game's vast reach to drive traffic to the music videos and vice versa. This strategic move proved to be a resounding success, instantly boosting the video views, and exemplifying the power of creative marketing. Another achievement that fills me with pride is the development of my own game, Marta Heroes Highway, accompanied by a supporting music video. This project epitomized my ongoing quest to uncover synergies between the music and gaming industries, further solidifying my belief in the potential for collaboration and innovation across diverse creative domains.

What advice would you give to young professionals, especially women, looking to succeed in business and leadership roles?

For young professionals, particularly women aspiring to excel in business and leadership roles, my advice would be to prioritize mentorship and continuous learning. Surrounding yourself with seasoned individuals who have walked the path before you can provide invaluable insights and guidance. Be receptive like a sponge, absorbing knowledge, and experiences from those around you. Don't hesitate to ask questions or make mistakes; it's all part of the learning process. Cultivate the courage to speak up and assert yourself in discussions. Strive to become an expert in your field, dedicating yourself to mastery so that your abilities speak for themselves. Confidence stems from knowing your worth and having a deep understanding of your craft. Remember, resilience is key. If one opportunity doesn't pan out, don't be afraid to seek alternative routes. Embrace the mindset of resilience and adaptability; if a door closes, be ready to find a way in through the window.

Are there lessons from your own journey that you believe could benefit those starting their careers?

Reflecting on my journey, there are numerous lessons that I believe could greatly benefit those embarking on their careers. Firstly, it's crucial to identify your unique strengths and carve out your niche in the industry. Whether it's mastering a second language, excelling in social media marketing, or possessing graphic design skills, honing these abilities will set you apart from the competition and position you for success from the outset. Moreover, embracing mistakes as learning opportunities is paramount. Failure, albeit uncomfortable, is an inevitable part of growth. By experiencing and learning from smaller failures early on, you can mitigate risks and avoid more significant setbacks in the future. Don't hesitate to seek guidance from seasoned professionals who have navigated similar paths before you. Asking questions and learning from their experiences can provide invaluable insights and accelerate your career trajectory. 

6 Where do you see yourself ten years from now?

In a decade, I envision myself at the helm of my own mobile gaming company, with a strong emphasis on empowering women in the industry. My goal is to pave the way for female talent and provide opportunities for unsigned music artists, particularly through music games and other gaming ventures. Having experienced first-hand the transformative impact of such opportunities on my own career, I'm eager to pay it forward and help others embark on their journey to success. How do you want to be remembered one day? I aspire to be remembered as a compassionate individual who left a positive impact on others. For me, kindness is the most enduring legacy. Maya Angelou's wisdom resonates deeply with me: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." My hope is that people recall me as someone who opened doors for others, who made them believe in the attainability of their dreams, and who inspired them to pursue those dreams relentlessly.

How do you differentiate yourself from others?

I've never consciously aimed to stand out, as my interests naturally set me apart. Combining a love for fashion with a nerdy passion has always made me distinctive, particularly evident at gaming conferences where my unique style catches attention. Beyond appearance, I strive to differentiate myself intellectually by contributing meaningfully to conversations. I believe in speaking up only when I have something valuable to add, ensuring that my presence leaves a lasting impression.

Who do you look up to for inspiration or mentorship?

My most significant source of inspiration and guidance is my mother. Her achievements speak volumes; negotiating a contract for Encyclopedia Britannica at just 20 years old and later becoming a CEO in a predominantly male-dominated industry showcase her incredible determination and strength. She's a true powerhouse. Whenever I need advice or direction, I know I can count on her unwavering support and wisdom.

What is your biggest fear and how do you manage it?

My greatest fear revolves around the notion of living a life devoid of making a meaningful impact. While thoughts about mortality and existential uncertainties certainly linger in the background, I prefer not to dwell on them. Instead, I focus on channelling my energy into actions that contribute positively to the world around me, thereby alleviating this fear. 

7 What would you like to achieve next?

I'm currently immersed in the early stages of a female empowerment project. My goal is to establish a supportive space where women can connect, collaborate, and uplift one another on their journey to success. Naturally, I'm deeply invested in seeing this initiative thrive. Moreover, I've learned that some of life's most meaningful endeavours often come unexpectedly. That's why I'm always on the lookout for projects that may not initially seem apparent in their value to others. These ventures, often overlooked by many, tend to be transformative and life-changing for me. So, I remain open to unexpected opportunities and excited to see where they lead.

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