Yodo1 may have marked its tenth anniversary in November 2021, but the celebrations for a dynamic decade have carried over into 2022!
The Beijing-based start-up that began in 2011 with two visionaries and a few games to publish has evolved into a global gaming force with a player base of over 1.5 billion, built via partnerships with over 1,000 developers and 5,000 games across 50 countries.
A diverse workforce numbering over 150 across 35 countries has contributed significantly to this growth. But numbers don’t tell the whole story. So here we look at these ten years through the lens of ten team members who helped write those successful chapters.
1) What inspired you to start Yodo1? How has it evolved since then?
Games have always been a passion, and Yodo1 was an opportunity to combine that passion with my work. We founded Yodo1 as smartphones transformed the way people played games and built them, where one or two-person teams could now bring their games to life and reach a global audience through smartphones.
Yodo1 was founded to enable these indie teams of game developers not just to make great games and a great living out of these games. I look forward to helping more game developers turn their games into multi-million dollar franchises.
—Henry Fong, Co-founder, and Co-CEO, Australia
2) What do you love most about being a part of the gaming industry? And what are the challenges?
I understand the impact of customer satisfaction on businesses. Therefore I took the time to learn the skills required to be a good Customer Success Manager and obtained industry-recognized certification. Here at Yodo1, I found a perfect environment to apply my experience and refine my skill set. Every challenge I’ve faced at Yodo1 has provided me with valuable learnings required for growth, professionally and otherwise. It’s not easiest to keep up with the ever-evolving tech industry, but I look forward to constantly innovating alongside Yodo1.
—Polina Ozhylevska, MAS Customer Success Manager, Ukraine/United States
3) At the end of 2020, Yodo1 pivoted to being a fully work-from-anywhere (WFA) environment. How is that working out?
In a year, we’ve gone from 99% of the company being in Beijing to have almost half of our team spread out across some 25 new countries. We’ve brought on nearly 70 new people this year, and only a quarter was China-based.
How is it working out? The team is beautifully diverse, and I think we’re doing much more than possible in the confines of an office—creativity, experiments, and overall productivity. On the employee side, people tied to Beijing for work had the freedom to return to their hometowns, see their families more, or even travel to new countries. And for hiring, we can put a job description out, and people can apply from anywhere in the world. There’s no limit.
The past year has been a fantastic learning experience, and I’m looking forward to the innovations and improvements we’ll make in the new year.
—Flo Alcasas, Head of Human Resources, Netherlands
4) What are the strengths of having a multicultural workforce at Yodo1?
As a naturally curious individual, Yodo1 has provided me with a consistent learning environment and a space to think creatively and in a global context. This has served me professionally as Head of Customer Success and in my personal problem-solving approach. Operating in this environment also allows me to tap into global expertise daily, which is not only a professional advantage but also a unique privilege for me, as I have always been excited about being exposed to cultures outside my own, and I get to experience that while being gainfully employed.
—Syed Ali Shah Baacha, Head of Customer Success & Developer Support, Pakistan
5) What is the best part of working at Yodo1?
I was in the admin department when I joined Yodo1 nine years ago. Then four years later, I was given an opportunity in a vital HR role, although I had no previous experience in HR. That is Yodo1 in a nutshell. It gives you that platform to challenge yourself, learn and grow professionally, and improve your circumstances. My colleagues are also very friendly and helpful, making work all the better for me.
—Ma Jun, HR Operations Support, China
6) As a long-time employee, how do you feel about the shift to WFA?
I’ve experienced significant professional and personal growth during my ten years at Yodo1.
I joined as a young, single girl in the capacity of Marketing Manager and have gone on to get married and become a mother, all while being promoted to Marketing Director and then my current position as Head of IP Licensing.
Yodo1 has always provided a great work environment, nurturing all my aspirations and growth potential and equally supportive of my personal development by building a results-oriented foundation of trust and continuous innovation.
—Vivien Zhang, Head of IP Licensing, China
7) What do you love most about your job?
I can work from anywhere. I can travel anytime. I can live anywhere I want to live.
Yodo1 (through its smart Talent Acquisition team) recognized early that the world would change after COVID, and nobody would want to work from offices anymore. They realized that if they’re going to get the best talents (and keep them), they have to offer unique advantages, and this is what they did!
They could put themselves ahead of the other companies and get the best talent because of their smart culture.
And the “killer advantage” that I found in Yodo1 is the unlimited PTO. Only a few companies offer this advantage and have this smart culture, and I’m proud to be a member of one of them!
—Ahmed Tohamy, LED Frontend Developer, Egypt
8) Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into gaming as a career?
The gaming industry is diverse and has a lot to offer. You don’t have to play or create games to be part of it. You get to work on solutions to problems touched by millions of players worldwide.
As an engineer, I witnessed firsthand Yodo1’s emphasis on independence, leadership, and ownership. The company promotes better habits, helps employees set clear goals (personally and professionally), and incentivizes them to succeed. We welcome anyone who wants to make the world more playful, one game at a time.
—Nitesh Oswal, LED Lead, India
9) How did you get into this field, and what do you like about it?
I worked for one of Co-CEO James’ startups and liked the working environment and culture. I wasn’t a gamer, but the fact that James encouraged me to try my skills in a new industry gave me the courage to try. The results have changed my life, and it all started when I took the first step, enrolling in the MAS BD Course.
I love that I can work virtually, which any mom would appreciate. I also have had a forward-thinking, supportive manager, Marina (Espin, Head of Sales & Support)
who has guided and mentored me? I have learned a lot from her and look forward to learning more. I also enjoy working one-on-one with developers from all over the world, which has allowed me to develop my ability to communicate clearly, not only with them but also with other team members.
—Tsitsi Chogah, Legion Team Lead, South Africa
10) Where would you like Yodo1 to be in another ten years?
We believe both Web 3.0 and the digital creator economy will be centered around the number one form of entertainment: video games. Yodo1 is committed to being THE platform that supports all game developers with an easy-to-use yet powerful platform of monetization tools, business support, and education offerings to enable developers worldwide to turn their games into scalable businesses.
—James LaLonde, Co-Founder, and Co-CEO, China
Will You Join Us for the Next Ten?
Powered by diversity and inclusion, Yodo1 will continue to innovate its service offerings into the next decade as a critical player in this growing, global industry.
If you read this through to the end, you’re either curious, passionate, or both as they relate to gaming and Yodo1 culture. Would you like to help us write our next successful chapters?
Check out our Careers page to learn more and discover open WFA roles.