• The Goose

Leadership means helping your team fail better

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

It can be tricky to find your feet at a big studio as a games professional just starting out. The departments and managers you interact with will only be part of a wider operation delivering vastly different functions. Recognizing the systems and hierarchies that make the studio function can be challenging. And how, exactly, do you fit in?

As a newcomer in a long-established company like DICE, one of Sweden’s oldest studios, you’ll be introduced to deeply refined protocols. You’ll know your players because DICE defined community management when growing its globally successful franchises. And you’ll be managed by experienced leadership that knows how to get the best from its teams.

Junior designers depend on a solid structure that actively promotes their success in a complex network of operations. Who creates that structure? To understand that, you have to go right to the top.

Before his appearance at Friday Stories of April 23rd, we spoke to Fawzi Mesmar about his experience as DICE’s Head of Design and owner of two major franchises, Battlefield and Battlefront, and how the Studio manages to stay at the head of the pack.

Trust in your team, and they’ll deliver

After almost two years, Fawzi Mesmar is still amazed that he’s responsible for the creative outputs of a world-leading studio. He’s been in the industry for eighteen years and has led accomplished design teams around the world, so the role isn't a shock. It’s sitting at the helm of his favorite game. ‘When I started making games, the team would finish up work and go play Battlefield,’ Fawzi remembers, ‘but I’d never have imagined that this kid from Jordan would be a part of the franchise’.

Fawzi oversees the Studio’s creative directors and ‘anyone with “designer” in their job title’. As part of DICE’s leadership team, his decisions affect the direction of the Studio as a whole. Basically, he’s got a finger in every pie. ‘Well, no, I’m aware of the pies,’ he clarifies, ‘but I point people to different pies and ask them how was that pie, and can we make it a better pie'.