Mihai Pohontu: the magic of games and how to find your way in a Black Ocean

Mihai Pohontu: the magic of games and how to find your way in a "Black Ocean"

Mihai is the co-founder and president of Amber, a Romanian multinational company with studios in eight countries. Amber collaborates with giants such as Disney, Universal, Gameloft, Amazon, and many others in creating and developing games.

Their footprint is evident in products and experiences from series like Star Wars, Avengers, Angry Birds, and Roblox. In March 2023, Mihai was honored with the "Entrepreneur of the Year" distinction from EY.

His world is an incredible universe. The gaming industry is the fastest-growing among all entertainment sectors, surpassing television, with 4 billion customers. From three-dimensional art to psychology, technology, and innovation, it demands cutting-edge skills and is probably among the most complex and intricate fields. A single game costs between one million and 30 million dollars. Mihai refers to this context as the "black ocean," filled with the remnants of deceased products and companies.

We spoke with him about the turning point in 2017 when Amber placed everything on a single product, about positioning and strategy in an extremely competitive industry, and how values support the strategy. He discusses why the concept of a guild, drawn from the medieval tradition of crafts, is the structure behind a team of 1200 people in eight countries. He shares insights into why one would acquire a studio in Mexico or Taiwan and his belief in Amber's social mission. The conversation delves into how they wrote a story of change in Botoșani and the unseen aspects of the industry.

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