Meet Fernando Ferri: Winner of August' Player Insights Champion Award
Updated: Sep 8
Affogata's Player Insights Champion Awards were recently created to shine light on the amazing Player Insights professionals in the games industry. These pros are out in the field, relentlessly serving the passionate player community, as well as providing the studios with needle-moving insights, straight from the voice of players.
So blow the trumpets 🎺 , because it's with great pride that we'd like to introduce you to Fernando Ferri: Our very first winner, August' Player Insights Champion.
What a better way to get to know Fernando, other than by understanding how does a day in his life look like?
"My day revolves around attending our games meetings and understanding if our Community Managers require assistance, whether it is a second opinion on a particular project or removing roadblocks. I also work closely with the rest of the leadership team from the Player Experience department (VIP Management, Player Support, Trust&Safety and Community) to keep track of our OKRs, projects prioritization, team morale/engagement, and much more."
We asked Fernando what drives him in his profession.
"I've been working on the Player Insights field for a little bit over nine years now. What I like the most about it is understanding players' needs, wants, and pain points and using all of that to improve their experience. Gamers are passionate and highly engaged, so whatever you do, for better or worse, they will tell you bluntly, and I see that as a privilege. You're missing incredible opportunities if you ignore your players' feedback and reactions. However, it can be challenging to deal with their frustrations, especially when you know it is related to something that cannot be changed or fixed."
Great professionals are usually influenced and surrounded by other pros that inspire and push their growth. We asked Fernando to share with us some of those names that made him who he is today.
"I'm lucky enough to work among great professionals at Wildlife, and if I were to list all of them, it would take me all day long, haha. However, I'd like to name a few that greatly impacted my career. Thomas Shibley, the Head of Player Experience - and everyone in my team: Kamille Catala, Benedict Corroon, Alexandra Dumitrascu, Maria Dordea, Marco Cremona, and a couple of others that have moved to different teams: Anderson Sanchez and Mark Robinson."
Next, when asked about the importance of Player Feedback for Wildlife, the studio where Fernando leads player facing efforts, he answered:
"It's crucial to us. Without player feedback, we have no immediate way to know why a new release is performing well or poorly. Player feedback supplements in-game metrics. You need both to have all the information to make well-informed decisions. We share feedback with our teams daily and have meetings solely for going through feedback."
It's our experience that leading studios need tools like ours to filter through the noise and surface meaningful player feedback. We asked how they handled player feedback before?
"For the lack of a better word, terrible, haha. Our Community Managers spent most of their time reading comments and reviewing each channel, looking for valuable feedback. There was little, to no time left, to focus on process improvement, new projects, and high-impact initiatives."
What problems was he trying to solve for his team?
"The first one was finding a tool that could gather data from *all* of our channels, emphasis on all because based on our research Affogata was the only one that could provide Discord data. The second one was a robust, reliable tool that would present the data how we wanted to see it. We have several games, and ensuring that we have it all in one place, with no restrictions, was really important for us. Our Community Managers have to look at feedback on a daily basis, so we needed a way to do it effectively since we have a jam-packed content calendar."
Finally, how does he feel our platform brings him value:
"Affogata is essential to our business because feedback is scattered across different channels, and going through them manually is time-consuming and not efficient. With Affogata, feedback is fed into the tool constantly, using all the proper parameters to find exactly what we want. Looking at the time spent finding, filtering, and analyzing feedback, you'll see the ROI is always positive with Affogata."
Diving deeper in how a one source of player insights truth helped Fernando, we asked him what was the impact on him personally.
"We looked at time spent collecting and analyzing feedback, the number of comments analyzed, and monthly report satisfaction from each game's director. The results were positive on all fronts. I don't have to worry about my team spending an insane amount of time collecting feedback, analyzing sentiment, and building reports. Their morale has improved since they have a much better time reporting community data. It's also a huge relief to have a platform run by a fantastic team always at our disposal when we need help tweaking queries or answering our questions! The support provided by Affogata makes my life a lot easier, haha."
Besides eternal glory in the hall of fame of Affogata's Player Insights Champion Awards, you might be wondering what's is the prize? We wanted the prize to be meaningful and long lasting, so we planted 100 trees on Fernando's name and sent Fernando a certificate showing exactly how his eco-impact is making a difference.
On Fernando's words: "I really like the idea of planting trees on my behalf! It feels good to have a positive impact in the world, so thank you!" 🌳
Thank you Fernando and congratulations ! Your work inspire us and many other pros out there🔥