Welcome to another edition of Black History in Video Games and I have the privilege of presenting producer and PMP, Eleanor “Ellie” Ross Crawley! Now today’s video game notable won’t be as extensive compared to the last few but it doesn’t mean her work and history isn’t imperative. While Crawley’s viewpoint in industry could be one of intrigue, perhaps that’s something for a later time. I’d like to focus on her career, from humble beginnings to influencing overall game development. Presidents and CEOs are fascinating to learn about, we cannot forget about those who work tirelessly under their guidance to ensure gamers receive an excellent and complete product.
In 1995, when presented the opportunity to playtest for
Magic: The Gathering video game, Ellie Ross Crawley agreed and opened the
gateway to her video game career spanning twenty years and counting. Initially,
as a play tester for Infogrames Interactive
(previously Hasbro Interactive), her duty was not only to play the games in
development but to also discover any bugs or design flaws the game designers
may have overlooked. After dedicating over seven years of work she became the
Senior Lead Quality Assurance (QA) Technician working on other popular titles
such as M1 Tank Platoon, Majesty: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim, MechWarrior 3:
Pirate's Moon, X-COM: Enforcer &
X-COM: Interceptor, just to name a few. She left in 2002 a few years before
and merged into the Atari brand.
|Yup, the saviors of Atari...whodathunk?|
|What a friendly bunch we have here.|
Crawley then transitioned toward the financial period of her career working with Brown Capital Management, a Maryland-based, Black-owned and operated investment management firm as the Senior Executive Administrative assistant offering marketing support to the directors and researching market risk analysis. But it wasn’t too long until she returned back into the QA testing world when she joined Electronic Arts’ (EA) Mythic Entertainment and was promoted to associate development manager in less than year. In this role her responsibilities grew greater; now she was managing Intellectual Property (IP) agreement phases, collaborating and communicating with teams in creating art assets and working with executive management to reduce cost-inflating risks. Crawley employed her experience through mentorship and management, facilitating the art team to exceed their goals. Having the well-received and award-winning Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning was also an impressive mark on her resume and accelerating her career on the road of success.
|Ellie makes sure you're having an awesome time online!|
Earning yet another promotion, Crawley proceeded into the role of Quality Assurance Supervisor for ZeniMax Online Studios – a studio concentrating specifically on the framework of massively multiplayer online games, where she assembled the QA Functionality group herself and was accountable for the creation and administration of over thirty testers. Her success streak continued once again advancing into QA Manager, exercising her knowledge and expertise to cultivate the future leaders of the company. As of August 2016, Crawley flourished even more, now having robust control and direction as a producer at ZeniMax Online Studios. The company's latest project is Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) since 2014, the massively-multiplayer-online-role-playing spin-off to the much revered action RPG series, The Elder Scrolls.
|"One for all and all for one!"...I think that's their slogan hmm..|
In a brief interview with IGDA Women in Games (WIG) Special Interest Group (SIG), Crawley expressed her love and adoration for her almost quarter-century career describing the challenging excitement and fluidity of working in the industry of video games. There’s one quote I particularly enjoyed and I felt it was appropriate to end this article with, especially for anyone interested in a video game related career:
“The gaming industry is competitive, challenging and captivating. Breaking into the industry can be difficult depending upon what you want to do. If your goal and dream is to be a part of the industry, learn what you need to do to enter the industry, adjust your goals to match your current skill set and learn what you need in order to advance towards the position you want. Then do it!”
- PMP, Eleanor “Ellie” Ross Crawley
|An inspiration to those looking break into the industry.|