Associate Producer in our Soda team, Karolina Jansson, tells us how curiosity, embracing failures, and patience allowed to her find her natural home in the Kingdom.
My adventure in the Kingdom began nearly 10 years ago, on November 4th 2013 to be exact. Candy Crush had been captivating players for a little over a year, and the success of King filled the offices with an electrifying buzz. Just when things seemed gloomy due to a layoff from my previous job, I was lucky to find an opportunity as an Executive Assistant (EA) at King in Stockholm, supporting the one and only Tjodolf Sommestad (now King’s President), among others.
I embraced the role for five fulfilling years, truly finding my place at King. Networking played a vital role in my position, allowing me to connect with many people across our studios and locations. But what struck me the most was the genuine kindness and humbleness of my fellow Kingsters. Even before King's values were explicitly articulated, we all embodied them. King's culture is something truly remarkable, and its essence still thrives to this day.
My curiosity always gravitated toward the game teams, back in the day it was especially the roles of Scrum Master and Producer that piqued my interest. As an EA, I had the privilege of interacting with some of these passionate gamemakers. Their jobs seemed so creative and fun – leading teams and making games. It just seemed so cool!
Growing up, I never even considered a career in gaming. So, it felt incredible to engage with the leaders and teams responsible for creating hits like Candy Crush Saga, Candy Crush Soda Saga, and what was then Royal Games. I still vividly remember the excitement of organizing the Soda launch party and the awe-inspiring team trip to London for the grand Tower Bridge reveal. (If you haven’t seen it, check out this launch event video!)
Experiencing it in person was pretty crazy, and I’m so happy I got to be part of it. And guess what? Today, I find myself working directly on the Soda team! If someone had predicted that back then, I would have dismissed it as an unimaginable fantasy. Yet here I am, more than five years later, working on my favourite King game: Soda!
As I got more curious about how we make our games, King had just started hiring Agile Team Coaches, and I couldn’t resist exploring the possibility of transitioning into such a role. I kept networking, speaking to numerous people, shadowing experienced coaches, immersing myself in Agile practices and principles, and discussing with the Agile Director at that time.
Finally, in September 2018, an amazing opportunity presented itself – I became a Junior Agile Team Coach on the Soda team, and a year later I was promoted to Agile Team Coach.
My time in Soda since has been eye-opening. I’ve learned so much and found my true calling – working with game teams and our awesome games. And you know what? Back in 2021, I leaped and applied for an Associate Producer role. I got it! Now, I’m aiming to become an Associate Product Manager. If you’d mentioned that back in 2013, I would’ve burst out laughing.
So, here’s what I’ve learned from my nearly 10 years at King and the various roles I’ve tackled: networking is everything. Your “internal brand value” (cheesy as it sounds) matters and being curious and open to learning is the real deal. Embrace failures and mistakes because they’re all part of the journey. Give yourself grace. Stay curious and have patience that you will reach your goal, it just might take some time. And make sure you enjoy the ride while you’re on it.
Passionate about our games just like Karolina? Join us! Head over to the jobs section to see what roles you could jump into.