A close-up of a microphone with abstract orange edges.

Supporting Game Devs and Each Other in a Global Pandemic

 What this challenging period reinforced

As those in areas with vaccine access emerge from the pandemic and work towards normalcy, we realize clearly that COVID-19 has changed our definition of normal. The challenges created by the pandemic have reinforced our recognition that adaptability, anticipatory planning and teamwork are key to our team and company operations.  

Adaptability at the Core of the Team DNA

The first thing COVID-19 tested was our adaptability as a company and an industry. When the coronavirus first threatened the well-being of our team members, we worked very fast to maintain a safe and comfortable studio environment for our team of engineers, producers, artistic directors and voice talents.

Speed and knowledge acquisition was key.

We rapidly assessed protocols across all countries in which we do business, shared best practices and deployed new recording methods as needed—including recording from home where we could achieve the basic quality necessary. The urgency of the situation forced us to analyze, decide and implement fast at a global scale.

Our adaptable, people-focused mindset became more important than ever and helped us maintain the trust of our team and customers with responsibility, respect and transparency. Like an athlete trained in extreme conditions, we are now even better prepared for rapid adaptability.

Anticipation is Key to Agility

Being adaptable requires foundational agility. One of those tools to allow adaptability is the ability to anticipate and plan ahead of time. This is where the work done by our multidisciplinary teams over the years paid off. Our global casting teams engaged directly with hundreds of voice talents to discuss their concerns, our approach and new procedures to welcome them in our studios. We looked at new methods as well, including remote recording in some cases, and helped enable that. For example, we surveyed all of our voice talent to find out how well they were equipped for home recording and listened to sample files to validate.

We also designed and purchased “helicopter” home-recording kits to be delivered, under Covid protocols, to key voice talent who didn’t yet have a home recording set up that met our standards.  

Our IT organization prepared us very well to work remotely for non-critical audio tasks. This is one of advantage of being part of Lionbridge: we operate one of the largest virtualized business in our industry. Lionbridge Gaming–a more studio/lab centric division–benefited from the network and security infrastructure in place for teams that work in other verticals.

Our PMs, leads and all our staff were able to work efficiently from home. Finally, our R&D teams had our cloud-based workflows at beta stage when the pandemic hit us last year and they worked very, very hard to put the finishing touches to enable more virtual, truly global workflows across our unified studio network. Thinking ahead–in partnership with our customers–is now an even bigger part of what our teams do daily to be better.

Hands adjust the knobs on an audio mixing board.

Teamwork for the Win

Most important, in our opinion, is the teamwork and caring spirit that was central to our success. People cared for each other’s physical and emotional health and we received amazing support from our customers. All stakeholders in the game production chain worked together with safety first in mind and a shared understanding of the challenges to overcome globally. There was a surge in collaboration and creativity as we felt the world growing closer together in common cause.

More than ever, respect, solidarity, patience, knowledge-sharing and expertise power our work. Our communal experience coping with the pandemic forged a team that is even more confident of its ability to adapt and built even closer relations with our customers and the fabulous pool of recording talents with whom we worked so closely.

Now, Lionbridge Games is in better shape than ever to tackle our changing world of audio production. Find out more about our game-changing responsiveness and innovation.

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Kaue Lemos
AUTHOR
Kaue Lemos