— 1 August 2023 | Portrait
Together We Are Ubisoft Québec: Juliette and Jérémy, Associate Monetization Directors
Some people cross the ocean for a change of scenery, others to discover a new culture. In the case of Juliette Lacharme and Jérémy Mesnildrey, it is the projects of Ubisoft Québec – no less! – that brought them here.
“I didn’t necessarily want to move to Canada, it wasn’t something I wanted to do in my life, but I knew that Ubisoft Québec was the place where I could potentially have more opportunities to grow, to learn things and to surpass myself,” says Juliette, associate monetization director, from the start.
For her colleague Jérémy, who holds the same position at the studio, the observation was similar.
“I had already moved for Ubisoft in San Francisco, so I had checked off my ‘I went abroad for work’ box, but Ubisoft Québec is a studio that is known for running things super well and making games efficiently. Not to mention that as a gamer, I really liked Immortals Fenyx Rising and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey,” he points out.
After several years working in the finance teams at Ubisoft in France, there was also a desire for the two video game enthusiasts to officially jump into the arena and join the production of a game.
“Being part of a support team like finance, you know you’re helping projects, but you always feel like you’re on the outside. So, for me, it was a dream. I had to do it at some point,” says Juliette.
So it was here, in Quebec City, that the dream materialized for Juliette and Jérémy.
All Roads Lead to Video Games
Beyond their motivations, we must face the facts: Juliette and Jérémy’s career path is almost identical.
Without really knowing what profession they wanted to pursue, the pair studied finance… before realizing that the field might not interest them that much after all!
“I did a master’s degree in finance because it seemed nice, but I realized that most of the jobs in the field were in consulting or investment banking and that it didn’t interest me at all,” recalls Jérémy.
“At some point, I said to myself, ‘I don’t like it, I have to do something else,’” replies Juliette, between two bursts of laughter. However, even with a growing desire to pursue a career in the video game industry, both persevered.
“I realized after a while that finance could be a real asset in an industry that is creative and needs money to live. So I persisted in finance and that’s why I joined Ubisoft,” says Juliette.
And fortunately, because the pair succeeded in using their professional background as a launch pad to join the production teams at Ubisoft Québec and help lay the foundations for the video games of tomorrow.
Keeping a Game Fresh Long After It Is Launched
Although Juliette and Jérémy no longer work directly in finance, the duo still juggles numbers and other monetary data in some way.
As associate monetization directors, it is up to their teams to choose the business strategy that will be best suited for a game developed by our studio.
In other words, and to explain the concept a bit, they will determine whether a title will offer downloadable content – such as cosmetic items – expansions or any other additional components that will keep the game experience fresh long after its launch, while generating additional revenue for the project.
“This is one of the reasons why we can afford to offer more and more interesting free content to players. Because these revenues will be reinvested,” notes Jeremy.
Very simply, we can say that one of the main objectives of an associate monetization director is to create value. Creating value for the player with quality content and value for the studio by maximizing the performance of a game.
And all this with two very important values in mind: ethics and respect.
“It’s very important to keep that in mind. We want to respect the player’s experience. We are gamers ourselves, after all. We want to offer the best possible experience and not distort it. So there is always a balance to be respected between ethics and profitability,” says Juliette.
To do this, Jérémy, Juliette and their colleagues join the development of a game very early in the process, so that the elements of the business strategy respect the DNA of the project and make gamers want to spend even more time in the universe of a title rather than the opposite.
“We don’t want it to be just an unrelated icing on a cake. We want to be part of the recipe. Only by really working with the creative and design teams can we make sure we create content that makes sense with the rest of the game,” explains Jérémy. “So we try to move towards systems that ensure that players always get their money’s worth.”
In addition to the “balance between ethics and profitability”, the other balance that Juliette and Jérémy have to respect is the one between the present and the future or, more concretely, between today’s trends and tomorrow’s.
In this sense, it is necessary to know how to adapt to the new generation of gamers and their preferences, without forgetting those who have been passionate about video games for years and who have very different habits.
“We really have to try to anticipate the business models of the future. Because video games take years to produce, by the time you get to the market, it’s already too late. So we have to try to anticipate and figure out what’s going to work in a few years,” says Juliette.
A Matter of Passions and People
One thing is for sure, it’s a challenge that is equal to Juliette and Jérémy, who let their passions guide them, whether it’s crossing the Atlantic to work on Ubisoft Québec’s next promising projects or simply evolving in a field that inspires them.
“Video games are something that drives me in many aspects of my life, even on a personal level,” insists Juliette, while Jérémy agrees… with a slight twist.
“The projects at Ubisoft Québec are cool and that’s why I went there. But the reason I want to stay is mostly because of the people,” he says. “Everyone is super nice and welcoming here. Whether it’s at the studio or in Quebec City.”
On that point (and many others), he and Juliette are on the same page.
“I love the people I work with. I don’t see the point of working if it’s not with people,” she continues. “I really find that joy in going to work every day. And it’s really because this place feels like home.”
Your go-to comfort food?
Juliette: “Pasta, definitely!”
Jérémy: McNuggets, “I think I eat one meal at McDonald’s a week, at least”!
The underrated TV series that everyone needs to discover?
Juliette: “I really don’t watch TV…”
Jérémy: “Dark, it’s really the best show I’ve ever seen.”
The first tape you bought?
Jérémy: “The Spice Girls album!”
Juliette: “Mine was the L5 album, but no one will know…”
A person, anyone, you’d like to chat with over a drink?
Juliette: “For me, it would just be my grandfather. I admit that in the known people, there is no one I am really interested in talking to.”
The first app you open in the morning?
Juliette: Instagram, “I’m addicted to Instagram and it doesn’t get any better over the years!”
If you were not associate monetization directors, you would be…?
Jérémy: Fisherman, “it’s always been something that interested me. Getting up early in the morning and going fishing on my boat.”
Juliette: “Fishing scares me, I’d rather farm oysters! At least you don’t have to go out to sea, you can stay and walk in the water!”
Console or PC
Juliette: “PC, all the way!”
Jérémy: “PC for all games with people and console for all games alone.”
What do you put in your coffee?
Juliette: “Whisky! No, that’s not true, I don’t like whisky either. That’s a really boring answer: I put oat milk in my coffee.”
Jérémy: “I put a lot of milk! I don’t like the taste of coffee actually, so I take it when it’s free.”