Gaming teams fail when they lack skill diversity, argues Ubisoft data scientist

When individuals come together and communicate effectively, they make up for each other's weakness and draw from each other's skills, says Florent Blachot


"I have seen too many [gaming] teams fail because there is no diversity in their teams," remarked Florent Blachot, associate director – data science at Ubisoft, as he presented on the Gaming Analytics stage on day two of DATAx San Francisco.

"I'm not just talking about racial diversity or gender diversity here, I'm talking about skill diversity," Blachot stated.

Blachot pointed out that different employees working in different areas will have different types of skills. He outlined two archetypes, that of a computer scientist and a social scientist, each with skills in different areas. For example, a computer scientist is better at engineering than a social scientist but has less awareness of business domains than the latter.

Bringing individual's together will mean that they make up for each other's weaknesses and can draw from each other's distinct strengths, according to Blachot. A less homogenous team is also crucial to bringing a holistic insight into developing games.

"This mix of skills helps you understand the players, understand motivation and understand the user experience," he added. "Not everyone is good at everything, so you need different types of people to maximize every skill."

Communication was the second-most important factor for success in gaming teams, Blachot noted.

"It's about mutual understanding in the team," he said. "It is so important to educate your colleagues about what you are doing day to day, to educate them about your own work so they know what you are doing. Then it is crucial that you learn how your colleagues are working as well – it is your responsibility to learn what they are doing."

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