Christine Lee brought up the topic of ads during the panel she moderated at Casual Connect USA 2014. “If you really look at the evolution, a lot of people still say mobile is newish or developing,” she said. “But if you think about it, five years ago: banners, that was it. And then eventually interstitials. And then videos, video interstitials, and now rewarded interstitials. Offerwalls, animated, in-play – there is so much going on with ads, and its interesting.”
Christine Lee, Chartboost’s director of business development, Americas says, “I like to keep things different from the norm.” She describes herself as ‘quirky’, and she will send life-sized plush game characters to partners, or play comical or socially relevant YouTube videos before team meetings. She even keeps a team fish named after the team quirks – NAD.
Yet she also describes her life as a balance between strength and precision, with creativity and openness. So perhaps it is no surprise that her hobby is teaching flying trapeze and circus arts, an activity that uses all these qualities. She finds teaching so fulfilling because it gives her an outlet to share and empower others to do the things that have provided her with the greatest challenges and satisfaction.
Lee has been playing games all her life, starting with online PC games like Myst and Monkey Island and transitioning to mobile with the rise of the app stores. She worked at AdMob prior to the Google acquisition, where she had the opportunity to partner with developers across various verticals, including gaming, entertainment, local/dating, and retail. Gaming stood out as the industry with the most passionate developers, always pushing ahead of the curve and driving innovation.
The passion, creativity, and innovation are what keep her in the games industry. But even if she were not in the industry, she would want to be working on a product that serves a need and finds a solution that doesn’t already exist. She is fascinated by companies that find answers and solutions that enhance lives or other companies, such as Square, Google, Instagram, or Lyft, for example.
Focused on Long-Term Partnerships
At Chartboost, Lee manages the business development and sales team and works closely with product and marketing. The founders of Chartboost came from Tapulous, and happened to be her clients at AdMob. When CEO Maria Alegre explained the product and company philosophy, Lee was immediately sold. She says, “The platform stands for things that typical ad companies don’t deem important: transparency, consistency and a focus on long-term partnerships.” She became one of the first twenty employees at Chartboost, and the experience she had at Microsoft, Google, and AdMob translated directly to her role there.
Lee has been able to build the top sales and business development team in the industry while at Charboost. She claims, “The team works tirelessly with partners, and always with class, intelligence, and a consultative approach. I honestly couldn’t be more proud of them and our accomplishments.”
Meeting The Developers Needs
The next big trend coming to the games industry is the sophistication of mobile and games, according to Lee. She says, “Developers are getting smarter, platforms are getting more complex, tracking is becoming more accurate, and innovation is consistently on the rise.” At Chartboost, they are always listening to developers, and building products and solutions that developers need and want. With the rollout of rewarded video, post install analytics, and retargeting, they are part of the rise of mobile ad tech, and are helping to push the envelope of innovation. She feels, “It’s rewarding to be part of an industry where we’re moving quickly and in the right direction.”
Lee loves casual games but calls herself a “hardcore casual gamer” because she devotes hardcore amounts of time to casual games. Currently, she is playing three games, all with very different genres and target demos. Her favorite games are all mobile, on iOS: Boom Beach, Fairway Solitaire, and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.
She considers herself ‘platform agnostic’; if a game is available on both iOS and Android, she has no preference, although there was a time when she used iOS only. She also appears to have no preference about where she plays; once she even played while on a stand-up paddle board and almost bumped into a sea lion.
Lee especially enjoys the social aspects of games. So, with her Xbox and Xbox Kinect, she hosts Dance Central tournaments in her living room for family and friends.
Catherine Quinton is a staff writer for www.gamesauce.org. Catherine loves her hobby farm, long walks in the country and reading great novels.