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From community member to community manager

15/05/2016 10:00 AM

Mattshotcha started out as an avid Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon fan who made fan videos for his YouTube channel. His passion for the franchise did not go unnoticed by Ubisoft, and he soon went on to consult with developers on the future of the series. Now he is working at Ubisoft as a community manager. We caught up with Matt to learn more about his journey in the game industry.

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When was the first time you played Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon?

That must have been back around 2002, when Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Island Thunder came out on the original Xbox. My father was a fan of the novels, and also had it for his Xbox, and convinced me to try it out. I was immediately hooked and have been ever since.


What does this franchise mean to you?

Ghost Recon has always been about that tactical feeling in a shooter game. You were dumped into the area of operations with a few objectives marked out, and how you completed those objectives was totally up to you. The concept of ranking up squad members and using them appropriately in certain missions while always having the permanent death of an ill-equipped soldier as a threat looming in the back of your mind, was another element that really made the games feel tactical in those early days. The franchise has always maintained that tactical edge in one way or another, including in Ghost Recon Wildlands.


How did you become a member of the Ghost Recon community? What initiatives did you put in place?

I always appreciated Ghost Recon in my own way, but it wasn’t until Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier that my interest in the series took a new direction. I started by uploading Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier content to YouTube pretty regularly. At that point, I was approached by Community Developer Antoine Emond, who was working on Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier at the time, to do the “Official Ghost Tactics with Mattshotcha” video series on YouTube, and it was featured on the Ghost Recon Network site. Later in the life span of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Future Soldier, a few other community members and I started up the Ghost Recon Community Night. We eventually developed that into a pretty large online event, complete with prizes being shipped all over the globe. These events were a great way for us to share our game experiences with each other.


During the conception of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, the dev team contacted you again, this time as an expert on the series and its community. What did you feel at that time?

Being a fan of the Ghost Recon franchise and a part of the community allowed me to draw from those experiences to help shape elements of the brand moving forward.

I really appreciated the unique experience of seeing this game evolve from very early to the point we are at now. With each contact, more and more of the bones of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands were in place, and the anticipation was almost unbearable at times. I am eternally flattered to have been involved in this process.


You were invited to Paris to playtest the game before the E3 2015 reveal, as a VIP community member. What did you think about this initiative?

This Paris event was without a doubt one of the most impressive and amazing experiences of my life as a gamer, and meeting the team was truly a highlight. Going on to talk with the team and feel that the team was not only as passionate as we were about Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands in general, but was interested and engaged while we were talking, was really amazing to see. As a community member, it was always a highpoint being able to engage with the team behind my favorite games and to get early hands-on.


And now you are working at Ubisoft. What kind of a change has that been for you? How does it make you feel?

Like the luckiest gamer alive. Seriously, I think the change has been a bit weird because at times it feels so normal, and at other times it feels like a complete 180. While I have always been involved and participated in things that would fall in line with the tasks that a community manager does, I have always done them from the other side of the fence. I have always looked at those tasks from the gamer’s perspective only, and now I am seeing a whole other side to things. It’s actually pretty enlightening. I understand the process a little differently than I ever did.


Do you have any words to share with the Ghost Recon community?

Hang in there, Ghosts. I know anticipation can be rough, but if you could only imagine the amount of love and care and painstaking detail this team is putting into this franchise that we ALL love so much, it would be strikingly clear that it is well worth the wait. The people behind Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands are all extremely talented and passionate fans, just like us.

I’ll see you all in Bolivia.




Thanks a lot Matt for this interview and for remaining a huge Ghost Recon fan while working on another Ubisoft title! If you want to see how Matt started creating Ghost Recon content, you can check out an archive of his YouTube videos here.

You can keep up to date with all the latest intel at GhostRecon.com, and don’t forget to join the conversation on our official forums and Reddit.

Author
The Ghost Recon dev team

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