As an avid gamer, Eric Doty always knew he wanted to pursue a career in video games.
While it may have taken a few years of education and experience to level up his knowledge and skills, Eric now finds himself living out his passion every day as a game design industry professional within the Greater Los Angeles area. Today, he is the head of product at Mobcrush, a technology and entertainment company at the epicenter of gaming, live streaming, and the creator-driven media revolution.
The first level of Eric’s professional journey began when he enrolled as a computer engineering technology student at Alfred State.
“There were a lot of parts of the program that I really enjoyed – learning how computers work, learning how to put the actual physical circuits together,” he said. “Just learning right down to the bare bones of how a computer works.”
In addition to the skills and knowledge he acquired in his program, Eric was also able to grow his leadership and managerial skills as a residence assistant, an orientation leader, and a Help Desk worker.
Another benefit of being an Alfred State student, Eric said, was finding “a lot of like-minded technology and gaming enthusiasts, which really fostered my love of video games and technology.”
“Without the community that I was a part of, I really don’t think I would have excelled in the field that I am currently in,” he said.
After earning his degree in 2007, Eric decided that if he was going to succeed in the video game industry, he was going to need to put himself in a so-called “tech hub.” He then moved to Seattle and took a job as a digital media coordinator at CBS Radio.
A few months later in February 2008, Eric got his foot in the door of the gaming world when he was hired as a content coordinator for Xbox Marketplace at Microsoft in California. He continued leveling up within the company’s Xbox division, becoming program manager in July 2008, community program manager in June 2009, and strategist in April 2013.
While he greatly enjoyed working for Xbox, Eric decided it was time for a new challenge in 2014.
“After working for a large company, I decided I wanted to really check out the startup space to learn different skills and push myself in an environment that doesn’t have near infinite resources,” he said. “It’s a whole new challenge.”
In October 2014, Eric became director of user acquisition at online app Overdog. In April 2015, Eric was hired by his current employer, Mobcrush, in a director role.
Earlier this year in February 2019, Eric was promoted to Head of Product at Mobcrush. In this role, Eric is in charge of overseeing the company’s product roadmap as well as a subsidiary company that owns and operates a profitable Minecraft server partnered with Microsoft.
Specifically, Mobcrush is a service that brings a suite of tools to video game streamers that help grow their fan bases and monetize their streams.
“We have a multi-stream feature that allows you to stream into a single point and then we rebroadcast it out to all of your channels, including Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, and Mixer, so you just set up one source and then we take care of everything else,” he said. “We also have a unified chat feature. Instead of having to watch all four of those platforms, we bring all of that chat into a single dashboard. Additionally, we have mobile apps that allow you to stream directly from your mobile phone without any external hardware, which we take a lot of pride in.”
Another tool of Mobcrush’s is called “Go Live, Get Paid.”
“That’s the monetization aspect,” Eric said. “We are able to partner you with a brand and, using our tools, insert that brand into your stream and track the success of the campaign.”
For Eric, the best part of his job is working with his fellow employees.
“They’re just brilliant and they love learning about new technology,” he said.
In April 2019, Eric returned to Alfred State’s main campus for the college’s inaugural Esports Invitational. The event featured students from five area high schools who came to learn more about the growing world of competitive gaming.
In addition to touring Alfred State’s new Esports Suite in the Student Leadership Center and playing some video games there, the students were also able to hear from Eric about what it’s like to work in the game development field.
“It’s huge for me to come back to campus, having worked in games and esports, to help those just starting out by sharing what I’ve learned along the way,” he said.
The field of competitive gaming, Eric said, is a “juggernaut” that is “only going to get bigger.” He wants anyone interested in becoming involved in esports to know that they don’t necessarily have to be a player if they are not at a professional level.
“There are plenty of other ways to be involved in the esports space where you can support those teams, whether it’s managing their social media account or working in other companies that supplement the industry with tools,” he said.
Reflecting on Alfred State’s new esports team and suite, Eric said, “It’s awesome to see the college that I attended, especially as a tech school, take such a strong first step in supporting esports as a whole.”
Eric was delighted to return to campus, remarking how much it has changed and grown since he graduated. He also acknowledged how much Alfred State was able to help him grow and build the skills he needed to succeed in the professional world.
“Those skills that I learned 12 years ago, I still use today as the head of product at a startup,” he said. “I really can’t thank Alfred State enough for giving me that education and opportunity to grow and find success.”