Preserving the Legacy of a Gaming Juggernaut
Alum archives the creative works of Blizzard Entertainment — producers of World of Warcraft and other major video game franchises.
While pursuing a major in art at SUNY Brockport, Leah Newman ’18 never heard of the job title “Digital Asset Archivist.” Today, her serendipitous path led her to a career with Blizzard Entertainment, one of the most prominent video game companies in the industry.
“What I love about my job now is that I get to support the creative. At Blizzard, there are so many creative people and I get to see all that they create,” Newman said. “It’s great because I get to interact with pretty much every department in the Blizzard Company and I get to capture culture.”
“Pretty much anything that goes into the making of a game I collect so it can be archived. This includes concept illustration artwork, key art materials, 3D models, and more.”
As a Digital Asset Archivist, Newman is responsible for preserving and organizing all of Blizzard Entertainment’s creative works, including assets from AAA games like Overwatch and World of Warcraft.
“Pretty much anything that goes into the making of a game I collect so it can be archived,” Newman said. “This includes concept illustration artwork, key art materials, 3D models, and more.”
Newman mainly focused on photography and graphic design while attending SUNY Brockport. Alongside her studies, she worked as a resident assistant (RA), an orientation leader, a SERC employee, a teaching assistant in a graphic design course, and interned for photo services.
“The biggest thing that I took into my career was all that I learned as an RA and how to deal with different types of people. Being empathetic and using your critical thinking skills as you navigate the corporate world is truly remarkable.”
Approaching graduation, Newman intended to pursue her passion - a full-time career as a wildlife and nature photographer. However, it proved to be more difficult than she expected.
“There were internships and jobs I was applying to in other countries… but then I realized wildlife photographers don’t really get paid a lot until they get famous,” Newman joked.
Newman pursues freelance wildlife photography in her spare time, but now she prefers to keep it that way.
“I like it as my hobby and not my full time job so it can stay my passion,” Newman said.
“At Brockport, we take classes on the importance of organizing your artwork. I was basically able to use my analytical skills as well as my creative skills, so it was a perfect fit.”
After graduating, Newman moved back home to California and began applying to jobs that sounded interesting, including a listing for a Digital Asset Coordinator at a biopharmaceutical company called Amgen.
Newman didn’t know that job would open an entire career path she never considered.
“I didn’t even know my job was a thing,” Newman said. “It was somewhat of a shift. At Brockport, we take classes on the importance of organizing your artwork. I was basically able to use my analytical skills as well as my creative skills, so it was a perfect fit.”
For students looking to kick-start their career, Newman offered one piece of key advice.
“Apply to everything that’s interesting. Network, go to conferences, and keep connections with people you graduated with. There are some really cool jobs out there,” Newman said. “If I were to think about just graduating in 2018… if I didn’t apply to be a Digital Asset Coordinator like ‘what the heck is that?’ then I would never get into the career I have.”