Category: GEMA, GEMA Alumni Spotlight

Title:GEMA Alumni Spotlight – Ryan Brennan (B’07), Director of Marketing at Epic Games

Headshot of Ryan Brennan

Ryan Brennan (B ’07) is a Director of Marketing at Epic Games. In his role, he is responsible for overseeing Epic Game Publishing marketing efforts, including brand, performance, partnerships, and platform marketing.

What was your first “big break”? Or, what is the most significant experience you have had that has made your success possible?

I have worked in the games industry my entire career, so my first big break dates all the way back to landing an internship with Electronic Arts after my sophomore year at Georgetown. At the time, I did not know the significance, but I knew that I wanted to work at the intersection of entertainment and technology, and the games industry has delivered on that opportunity and has captivated me ever since. Looking back

on my career to date, I also believe that breaks have continued to come through a willingness to try new things, whether that be in moving between marketing and sales roles or to tackling new business challenges.

What is the most challenging part of your job? What is the most rewarding part?

The most challenging part of my job is staying current with both media and player landscapes. The gaming industry is one that changes rapidly and rewards innovation, so one must be willing to test and iterate quickly in both game design and marketing practices. Coincidently, this is also the most rewarding aspect of my job because it always keeps me on my toes, provides an evolution of sorts within my career, and leaves a healthy amount of “what if” in my daily work to keep things exciting.

What is something current you are working on that you are excited about?

As a part of Epic Game’s Publishing team, I work with external game developers to help fund, market, and ultimately bring their creative visions to market. This role is particularly exciting because it allows me to work with both well known and first time game developers from across the world on vastly different game experiences for all types of players.

How is the ever-changing media landscape affecting your industry?

Changes to advertising platform privacy policies are massively affecting game publisher’s ability to grow games efficiently. As a result, it has started to question traditional game business models, and it is forcing many publishers to reorient their games on growth models that are believed to be more predictable in the near future.

Are there any ways that you feel Georgetown especially prepared you for your career?

Georgetown empowered me to have both a creative and commercial business mindset early on by allowing me to focus my studies in business at the McDonough School where I received an MBA style education in an undergraduate program. It also allowed me to focus my major directly on an area i had an interest on working in the future.

What is your best advice to those who are starting out in your field?

It may sound cliche, but for people interested in working in tech/entertainment, you need to anticipate where things are headed versus where they are today. In addition, you need to think through the experiences and skills that this future industry will seek out. It presents a massive opportunity for young people to make an immediate impact in the tech/entertainment space, but it can also be a risky game.

Best Business Advice Received:

“The leading edge is the bleeding edge” – I believe this can be interpreted in a few ways, but for me, it has given me confidence to push into new areas and to not be afraid to make some mistakes along the way.

Trait You Most Admire in People:

Emotional intelligence. In a fast paced industry, it is important to have empathy for others and to manage your emotions in a way to improve communication and overcome challenges.

Favorite Georgetown Restaurant or Bar:

Spent way too much time at Rhinos and loved to grab a steak at Nathan’s.

Favorite Georgetown Memory:

Living in a Harbin triple dorm room my freshman year is likely not what you’d expect as a great memory, but looking back, it created lasting memories, unexpected friendships, and something I wouldn’t have changed despite my initial impression of misfortune.