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Studio Organization from 2 to 250: Lessons Learned Scaling Pocket Gems


Ben Liu (CEO, Pocket Gems)

Location: Room 25, North Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 21

Time: 12:00pm - 12:30pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!

Topic: Business & Marketing, Production & Team Management

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Intermediate

Scaling a game studio from 2 people to 250+ requires restructuring, decentralization, and more than a few mistakes. This talk will discuss the four phases that Pocket Gems went through as it grew to a successful game developer with a diverse product portfolio. In phase one (2-25) everyone is focused on a single product and communication overhead is low, in phase two (25-50) Pocket Gems split up and began decentralizing, during phase three (50-150) they introduced a matrix organizational structure. Now, in phase four, they are divided into three large unit and each one is as large as the company was in the previous stage.


Attendees will learn the pros and cons of decentralization, hybrid team members, a strong R&D focus, autonomous game pods, pivot periods, and breaking a single company into multiple studios. These will be included in a succinct recap of how to successfully scale a games company that promotes creative risk-taking.

Intended Audience

The ideal attendee will have a leadership role in a small-to-medium game studio that is looking to expand.