Behind the scenes with our COO, Assaf Cohen (Beardy Bear)

Mighty Bear Games COO, Assaf Cohen is the latest to take the hot seat in our latest spotlight series, profiling the team members shaping the future of an accessible, inclusive and fun decentralized gaming ecosystem.

With four children, an engineering background and a passion for football Assaf truly does do it all — something he shares is very important in his role as COO, supporting the team wherever necessary.

Tell me about yourself, your background, and your career to date.

My career story looks a little different to the rest of the team: I was not in the gaming industry at all up until a year ago! Instead, my background is in engineering, IT, and security. I got into the startup world around five years ago with my first startup providing the technology to secure cryptocurrency wallets. This was actually my introduction to the blockchain industry, and it was a tough time to be working in crypto before the market picked up.

I met MBG Co-Founder Simon Davis at a community event where he told me about his vision for the gaming studio to pivot to Web3. I think the Web3 space holds enormous potential so I was very interested in pursuing an opportunity at MBG. Over several meetings and brainstorming sessions with the team, we worked together to define my place within the company and I have been here now for about a year.

Tell me a bit about your current role at Mighty Bear Games.

I always try to explain what I do as COO to other people and I’ve found that the best way to describe it is that I’m responsible for the success of the team, whatever it takes. From engineers to product managers to studio admin, I see my role as making sure people can do their job better by solving any problems they have, providing them with the tools they need and mentoring where required. This means that no two days look the same; on Monday I can be helping an investor acquire shares whilst on Tuesday I’ll be installing a WiFi router in the office — whenever, wherever they need me, I’m there to help.

What feature in ‘Mighty Action Heroes’ are you most excited for?

For me, the most exciting features in Mighty Action Heroes are those developed to help onboard legacy gamers into decentralized gaming. Having released several successful Web2 titles, it is a big priority for us as a previously traditional gaming studio to avoid neglecting our existing community members and established player base. At the end of the day, our goal is simply creating a fun games that people want to keep playing. We’re not specifically targeting Web3 natives or gamers whose priority is to earn and trade in-game assets.

Our killer features are those that allow players to join the game seamlessly. A player need not know what a crypto wallet is — it is our job to ensure everything is integrated into the back-end. We will provide a way for players to log in using a username and password or using their social and that’s all the player needs to worry about before starting to play!

What action hero best depicts your life?

Someone I would consider an action hero is MacGyver. I grew up with the eponymous series. It’s all about this great guy who fought criminals and terrorists, not with a superpower, but with his intelligence and problem-solving skills using everyday objects. Being an engineer by nature, I see a lot of similarities between him and myself. While many children are fans of Superman or Spiderman, I was always inspired by MacGyver as a young boy because it was exciting to have an action hero that seemed achievable.

Do you have any favorite games that you enjoy playing?

Anything football related! I have always really enjoyed playing football games. I used to play a lot of Pro Evolution Soccer, now eFootball by Konami.

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?

It would have to be something related to time travel, whether that be to the past or the future. I am very interested in the evolution of technology, so I would choose to go to an interesting period in society’s development, spending some time there and exploring.

Do you have a favourite NFT Collection?

I have a favourite NFT artist! Deekay is a very talented animator from Korea who produces different kinds of NFT collections and animations, the most famous being LetsWalk. I particularly like ‘Life and Death’, a thirty-second animation that depicts the circle of life. It always prompts me to reflect and appreciate what is important to me.

What’s one piece of advice that you’d give to anyone that’s been transformative in your career?

Keep learning and develop your skill set. I always encourage people to think about where they want to be three to five years from now. If you’re looking at your career more immediately it’s not contributing towards a sustainable long-term but by reflecting on five-year goals you can decide what topics to learn about and focus on to prepare for the next opportunity.

To keep up with Assaf, you can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Join the Mighty Bear Games community and learn more about how we’re making decentralized gaming accessible for everyone here.

Behind the scenes with our COO, Assaf Cohen (Beardy Bear) was originally published in Mighty Bear Games on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.