Gordon Ryan

I'd be a great Community Lead at thatgamecompany

Scroll down to learn why!


Cover Letter

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To say I’m merely “interested” in becoming thatgamecompany’s Community Lead would be, frankly, dishonest. I won’t dance around how I really feel: an opportunity to join a studio I deeply admire both philosophically and technically, in a position that is perfectly suited for my background, is a blindingly exciting prospect. I’ve been captivated by thatgamecompany since I first played Journey—an example of interactive art so elegantly emotional that it changed my conception of what games could be.

I want to create experiences like that and I want to work with the kind of people who share that desire.

I have deep experience across video game audience growth, development, and management, in addition to extensive marketing expertise. I pride myself on having cross-functional capabilities; on any given day, I can move between community and social media strategy, content creation, support, influencer and media relations, event planning, and more.

Being a Community Lead means more than just having technical expertise, though. I’ve built lasting relationships with countless players of diverse backgrounds, done hundreds of live streams that have been viewed millions of times, turned trolls into passionate players, and guided passionate players into lifelong advocates. Leading communities is what I do, I’ve been fortunate to enjoy success in it, and I love it.

As Director of Community at Proletariat Inc., an independent studio specializing in large-scale multiplayer games, I’ve championed a community-centric philosophy that has become the core of our company motto: Players First. I am the lead strategist across all audience relations activities, spanning several unique titles with player bases in the millions, worldwide. I’m proud to have helped transform us from an unknown entity to a studio known for developing massive audiences that are tightly woven into the fabric of everything we do.

World Zombination, a mobile MMO, required grassroots community efforts that ultimately produced an Editor’s Choice and #1 rank on the App Store with nearly 5 million downloads. Such a large audience demanded excellence in content and engagement, and I led a program that excelled in retention and player success. Streamline was a pivot: a PC arena game with tight Twitch integration. It required a multi-level approach: we developed a strong relationship with Twitch, demoed with hundreds of broadcasters live on their channels, and became variety streamers in our own right on our way 500k early access downloads. Our latest title, StreamLegends, was a launch title for Twitch’s new in-channel Extensions. By engaging where its audiences center themselves—in broadcaster channels and Discord—we’ve already built the community to more than 400k players.

tl;dr, I want to provide the best player experience possible in our industry and I would be floored to do that for thatgamecompany. You have already made a lasting impact on the medium—and me—and I would be honored to be part of your continued journey. I am eager to learn more about the position, and hope to discuss it with you soon.


Dynamic and driven community management, marketing, and support professional with more than ten years of experience and a master’s degree in advertising. Background in content strategy/creation, branding, PR, publishing, and developing and executing successful digital and traditional marketing plans targeting a variety of audiences. Experience includes video game, B2B, B2C, cultural, educational, and entertainment industries. Strong advocate for analytics and accountability. Skilled at managing cross-functional teams on highly visible projects that impact millions of customers.


Director of Community

Proletariat, Inc. | Nov 2013 – Present | Boston, MA

As the audience relations, marketing, and engagement lead, I have helped launch, grow, and maintain multiple large-scale products with millions of users.

Audience/Community team lead

  • Manage cross-functional teams in support of community development
  • Project manage and oversee team's daily activities
  • Assess and report team performance

Digital/Social Marketing, Growth, and Content lead

  • Lead strategy for all social media, digital, and email marketing for a community of 5+ million players
  • Lead content strategy and development
  • Influencer and evangelism strategy and management
  • Webmaster and site management
  • Channel metrics analysis
  • Marketing automation
  • Strategy and production of live streaming and multimedia content
  • Live stream personality
  • Blog strategist, editor, and contributor
  • Strategy and coordination of user generated content

Support and Engagement lead

  • Lead product support strategy and oversee day to day service
  • Lead engagement strategy and oversee implementation
  • Community moderation and conflict management
  • Facilitate the collection of feedback and bug reports
  • Alpha/Beta testing management
  • Contest and special event development

Brand development and management

  • Help create, asses, and evolve company and product branding
  • Lead voice and tone development
  • Act as spokesperson
  • Public relations, including press releases, outreach, and crisis management

Events and Charitable Fundraising

  • Manage events, including live operations at large trade shows such as PAX East and TwitchCon
  • Demo strategy and implementation
  • Manage charitable fundraising events

Digital & Social Media Marketing Manager

Boston University, Admissions | Jan 2012 – Nov 2013 | Boston, MA

  • Developed comprehensive social media, mobile, and digital marketing strategies to attract, inform, and influence prospective students, parents, and counselors
  • Managed Admissions social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
  • Managed and wrote entries for the Admissions blog
  • Provided counsel on digital marketing and social media strategies to leadership across the university
  • Initiated and chaired strategic workgroups on topics related to web, digital communications, and social media
  • Developed microsites targeting various high-value populations
  • Oversaw development of a unique mobile app utilized by recruiting staff
  • Created multimedia content assets, including photos, graphics, and videos
  • Managed Admissions websites, including main site (300+ pages, 2 million visitors, 10 million pages per year
  • Developed and applied tracking methodologies for website, e-mail, and social media to inform strategy and development

Owner & Photographer

Gordon Ryan Photography | 2009 – 2012 | Boston, MA & Durham, NC

  • Professional photography for corporate clients and individuals

Public Communications Officer

UNC Chapel Hill, The Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History | 2010 – 2011 | Chapel Hill, NC

  • Developed and implemented strategies to improve quality and reach of social media and public relations activities, resulting in approximately 50% increase in program participation despite 20% budget cuts
  • Revamped media/community relations program, expanding targeted audience and reducing costs/time
  • Managed website content development and data structure
  • Implemented new email marketing strategy utilizing industry leading tools
  • Utilized streaming and social video to bring high-profile events to broader audiences
  • Served as gallery/museum manager for acclaimed photography exhibit

Publications, New Media, and Promotions Administrator

Boston University, College of Engineering | 2007 – 2010 | Boston, MA

  • Established College of Engineering’s first formal departmental marketing communications program, which served as a blueprint throughout the College
  • Selected as Chair of Communications Committee
  • Revamped digital marketing programs, realizing an increased communications reach of more than 400% to relevant audiences
  • Developed and executed social media strategies (including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn) tailored for students, faculty, alumni, prospectives, and media
  • Recommended and developed new website to target more prospective students and enhance visibility
  • Member of University-wide group created to review and recommend central communications initiatives
  • Proposed and initiated awards program to capitalize on recognition opportunities for faculty/students
  • Managed Junior Design and Communications Assistants

Senior Program Coordinator

Boston University | 2005 – 2007 | Boston, MA

  • Developed digital administration and communication tools driving time and resource savings
  • Hired and managed more than 25 student employees

Assistant Account Executive

Schwartz Communications, Inc. | 2004 – 2005 | Waltham, MA

  • Earned a Publicity Club of New England Bell Ringer award for “Best Product/Service Publicity: High-Tech Campaign”
  • Wrote press releases, bylined articles, and media pitches for business technology, IT security, and digital clients
  • Managed successful awards programs for several accounts
  • Media relations efforts resulted in placements at the regional, local, business, and trade levels

Contributing Writer

nextmedia | 2003 – 2004 | Sydney, Australia

  • Conducted interviews with high-profile musicians for music magazines Australian Guitar and Blunt
  • Authored and copyedited feature articles, album reviews, and news reports, including two cover stories


Master of Science, Advertising

Boston University | Boston, MA

Digital strategy and new media concentration

Bachelor of Arts, Philosophy

Boston University | Boston, MA

Journalism minor; Dean’s List; National Society of Collegiate Scholars; journalism internship in Sydney, Australia; student newspaper staff; Creative Director for student magazine

Volunteer and Interests


Extra Life; Stack-Up; Habitat for Humanity; Special Olympics; various animal welfare causes; Movember


Music composition/performance; gaming; photography; writing; cooking; philosophy; history; technology; woodworking

Live stream engagement:
World Zombination

KEY SKILLS: #publishing #growth #engagement #multimedia #spokespersonship
RESULTS: Cross-channel growth, Twitch partnership, crucial feedback, millions of views.

Part of our early strategy with self-publishing World Zombination was to make a name for ourselves in the burgeoning live streaming landscape. I developed a robust program for the studio that called for frequent live development updates discussing what new things we made and getting audience feedback, educational development streams in which an artist or engineer would work on the game and answer questions about what they were doing (and sometimes incorporate viewer suggestions), and weekly gameplay streams where I would play the latest build. Once the game launched, we added new activities to gameplay streams, such as in-game giveaways and raiding with players/guilds that requested it on air. These were foundational for our early growth and later retention. I personally did hundreds of these streams and produced them all.

Additional media

Reciting WZ Tongue Twister contest entries

Weekly development update

Weekly game development stream

Player appreciation stream

Player contests:
World Zombination

WZ dollhouse made for an "anything goes" contest

KEY SKILLS: #social-media #engagement #growth
RESULTS: Increased meaningful engagement, reactivation of lapsed players, catalyst for user-generated content for sharing.

Shortly after World Zombination's worldwide launch, I developed a new engagement plan that included frequent contests that we would post on our forums. These were a great success: not only did players drastically increase out-of-game engagement with us and each other, but they also established a consistent stream of fan creations that could be shared on our social channels. Bonus: we discovered and promoted some pretty amazing artists among our community members!

Additional media

Cosplay contest entry from a father/daughter team

 A video game made for a contest

A video game made for a contest

Holiday contest entry

Crossover contest fan art

Weekly newsletter:
World Zombination

Screen Shot 2018-01-30 at 12.02.11 AM.png

KEY SKILLS: #engagement #written-content #social-media #growth
RESULTS: Cross-channel growth/engagement both early and at release, increased retention, promoted satisfaction.

Email marketing is just as powerful now as it has always been—it's an opt-in channel that has the opportunity to deliver very rich content to people who really want it. For more than two years, we sent a weekly newsletter for World Zombination, which included development news in the early days and eventually had leaderboards, contest information, interesting data visualizations (see above/right), community interviews and more. Our mailing list organically grew to more than 60,000 addresses and had an above industry-average ~25% open rate.

YouTube liaison:
World Zombination

KEY SKILLS: #spokespersonship #growth #engagement #partnerships #multimedia-content #social-media
RESULTS: Nearly 30,000 player created videos, featured videos from key influencers, viral spread of the game and subsequent news.

With the rise of Let's Play content on YouTube, it was imperative for us to build strong relationships with content producers—especially those who had influence in the mobile strategy space. These talented community members had built dedicated audiences who trusted them to deliver high-value entertainment and content, including insight into new features and strategy. We conducted constant research to reveal the best YouTubers for the game, developed special programs for them (bonus game content, pre-alpha access, official partner status, etc.), and gave them especially open access the team itself. The result was a growth and content engine with limitless reach.

Additional media

Twitch Influencer initiative:

KEY SKILLS: #spokespersonship #growth #engagement #partnerships #multimedia-content #social-media
RESULTS: Key partnerships and hype in the Twitch community that gained us wide recognition both among broadcasters and within Twitch itself. This was the groundswell that got us to 500k early access downloads, despite analysts predicting less than half of that.

Streamline is a game we made for the Twitch community; nothing before it had the degree of integration with streams that it offered. To get the word out that we were making a game that was literally built for them, I developed an outreach campaign that saw us reach out directly to more than 600 highly targeted broadcasters to offer them what we dubbed "white glove" introductions to the game for them and their communities. Ultimately, my team and I did more than 150 guided demos where we joined the broadcaster in their live stream via voice chat, played the game with their community, explained everything about it, and answered all of their questions. Not only did this give us outstanding notoriety, but it also resulted in many lasting relationships, both professionally and personally—I can count dozens of broadcasters throughout the world as legitimate friends because of this campaign, some of whom I regularly play games with (no, not just Streamline!).

Additional media

Road to TwitchCon $10k Tournament:

A short clip from the tournament finale. I'm the host.

KEY SKILLS: #spokespersonship #growth #engagement #partnerships #multimedia-content #social-media
RESULTS: Increased buzz, prime featuring on Twitch, stronger relationships with elite streamers, strong focus of attention at TwitchCon.

Thanks to our grassroots efforts with broadcasters over the previous year, we built a very strong relationship with Twitch—to the point that Streamline was chosen to be the launch title for Twitch Prime, the new game distribution feature of Amazon Prime. To build hype before the the announcement at TwitchCon, we partnered with Twitch to create the Road to TwitchCon tournament, which featured a number of high-profile broadcasters hosting knockout rounds leading up to the show while front paged on Twitch, a two day finale at the Twitch Prime booth, and a grand prize of $10,000. I developed the tournament structure, dealt with the legal teams, handled relationships with the broadcasters, arranged for knockout round winners to attend the convention, and was the emcee for the finale—all while captaining our 14-station booth. It was exhausting, but was easily one of the highlights of my career.

Additional media

  Grand Prize winner, Namhoh (I'm second form left)

Grand Prize winner, Namhoh (I'm second form left)

Websites and branding

  The new  Proletariat.com  (launched 2018-02-07)

The new Proletariat.com (launched 2018-02-07)

KEY SKILLS: #publishing #branding #multimedia-content #written-content #web-development #analytics #social-media
RESULTS: Increased content consumption, accurate performance tracking, richer branding.

Proletariat began life with five developers and no marketing specialists, and the first iterations of the studio's public brand were evident of that. Over the years, I have been molding our brand strategy to more accurately portray us, through our social media endeavors, websites, blog posts, and other various external-facing channels. I personally created the Streamline and new Proletariat websites (see above), which are significant improvements over previous brand hubs. Proper content practices, SEO, analytics, and architecture are at play in all newly developed entities since I was given oversight.

Extra Life Charity Gaming Marathons for Boston Children's Hospital

KEY SKILLS: #spokespersonship #engagement #multimedia-content #social-media
RESULTS: Outstanding community engagement and helping some amazing kids.

Participating in Extra Life is one of Proletariat's oldest traditions—in fact, it's the first thing I did with the team after I was hired (but before I started). It was a small, casual thing that year, and we raised a few hundred dollars. Since then, I have become the team Captain and we have done full-on campaigns that culminate in participation in the 24-hour Game Day marathon, which we live stream for the entirety of its duration (see above/right for this past year's full event footage). We bring the entire studio together and play games for a full day straight (those of us who can last that long, that is). The community hangs out with on Twitch all day, and we have an amazing time, all in support of Boston Children's Hospital. I'm proud to say that we've raised in excess of $15,000 over the past few years and it's easily among the most special projects I've worked on in my career.