I’m like a Swiss knife, basically

Marianne Lupien

Operations Manager

Hello Marianne! Tell us a little about yourself.

What was your dream job as a kid?

Painter, sports journalist and lawyer (Ally McBeal made it look so cool!)

Why the gaming industry? Tell us about the path that brought you to Panache.

By chance, really. You have to know that I’m the only Panache employee that’s not a gamer. So how did I end up in gaming? Well… I was doing a master’s degree in linguistics (French grammar) and teaching both French and English in different companies part time. That’s how I first got in contact with the industry. I was teaching English at EA and French at THQ Montreal, which had just opened. A few months later, I dropped my master’s because I just wasn’t passionate enough by my subject and I honestly couldn’t see a future in this field of studies.

Following this, I first went on to what seemed the most logic to me: translation. I worked as translation coordinator for a big corporation, but quit after only 6 weeks. I was so bored! Then I was offered a 3 months internship in public relations but it didn’t lead to any real job opportunity. So not really knowing what to do with my life, I asked THQ Montreal’s general manager (one of my French students) if, by any chance, he had a job for me. Few weeks later, I was starting as administrative assistant, which is one week before Patrice Désilets – who I had never heard of – joined the studio. One thing led to another and I went on to become Patrice’s executive assistant until THQ’s bankruptcy.

Then, I worked as executive assistant in advertising, architecture and even for a non-profit organisation the Breakfast Club of Canada, until Patrice asked me to join the communication and marketing team at Panache. I jumped on the occasion, obviously!

What is it, in your opinion, about the video game industry that is different from the other industries you’ve worked in?

This industry is full of fun, passionate and talented people who don’t take themselves too seriously (in general). At the end of the day, we’re creating entertainment so we need to have fun making it!

Also, we are our own client until we ship the game. By this, I mean that all other industries I worked in are run by clients’ demands and clients’ deadlines, which drains the energy and passion from many and doesn’t allow for as much creativity. We are lucky to make our own product on our own deadlines.

It’s also a blossoming industry!

What’s your role at Panache? And in concrete terms, what do you do?

Content producer. More specifically, I’m in charge of creating communication and marketing content for our social medias, web pages as well as our promotional campaigns, etc. I’m also office manager or “studio mom” and I do take on the role of Patrice’s assistant once in a while. So other than writing and creating content, I buy birthday cakes for the employees, I’m in charge of office furniture, I manage the “Marianne we’re out of coffee!!” crisis, I coordinate Patrice’s conference and interview requests as well as his travels, I organise the studio’s social activities, etc.

I’m like a Swiss knife, basically :)

What is the biggest challenge you face in your job?

Learning about the gaming industry and the wide variety of games. This world is still unfamiliar to me but it’s fascinating.

What is it about video games that you like?

Hmmm… Since I’m no gamer, I’m mostly fascinated by all the work done “under the hood”. I believe that most gamers don’t even realize how complex the development of a game is.

These days, what game are you playing?

I knit!

Other than video games, what are your interests?

Talking, knitting, skiing, going outdoors, drinking white wine! I also love traveling and learning new languages before I do. Languages are fun to dissect! I guess that’s my quirk of being a linguist.

If you could meet any living or dead personality, who would you choose? Name 2 and tell us why.

You know, that’s a tough one! But I’d have to say…

Charles Darwin, to get a chance to discuss the theory of evolution and his research on the Galapagos Islands.


Jane Austen, for her criticism of women’s social status at a time when women had to rely on marriage to get any social status. She defied the system and seems like someone I would’ve been good friends with.

If you had to write your autobiography today, what would its title be?

Marianne, you’re organizing right!?

If you could have a super power, which one would you choose?

Teleportation so that I could go wherever I want whenever I want without having to worry about time and cost. It would also be really useful when I’m half asleep on my couch and just wish to be in bed asap.

And now, loose questions:

Favorite meal?

Good question… It really varies on my mood. But my uncle’s spätzle or spätzli has he says, are high on my list!

Favorite places in Montreal?

The Atwater market and the Lachine canal. Verdun, my neighbourhood and the Café Saint-Henri.

Your desktop background?

The blue Microsoft background… Boring uh!

Your favorite time of the week at the office?

When a banal email becomes a thread of delirious and hilarious photoshoped images and quotes.

Your favorite hobby?

Knitting and talking. I do love talking :)

Who had the most influence on you professionally?

Patrice Désilets who taught me that the most important thing in life wasn’t the big career and salary but doing what we love with people we love.

The best tip you were ever given?

“You’re not perfect and will never be because no one is. So stop trying to be.” – My therapist