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The stunning transformation of Alanah Pearce

The story of Alanah Pearce is full of hope for those who've ever had a dream job. It is a blueprint for anyone who wishes to achieve their goals. Pearce is now a major figure in video game culture, with hundreds of thousands of YouTube subscribers and one hell of an impressive resume. But none of that fell into her lap. She had to work for it over the course of many years, putting in the time and effort to see her plans through. Her path was unlikely, but she traveled it all the same.

Below, you'll read about how Pearce became so popular — how she broke through multiple barriers and obstacles to end up with a spot during The Game Awards, among other career landmarks. She definitely faced some misfires and complications on her way to getting her current gig, but her journey is proof that, with enough determination, you can move mountains in order to be what you want to be.

This is the stunning transformation of Alanah Pearce.

Before Pearce broke into the industry, she worked at a call center

"Started from the bottom" is more than just a song by Drake — it's a true story for many who eventually find success in their respective fields. Movie stars often fill smaller roles before securing the lead in blockbusters. Singers play in small bars and clubs before they headline huge concerts.

Pearce's career was no different. She didn't just wake up one day with an enormous fan base and companies beating down her door to hire her. In fact, there was a time when Pearce wasn't in the games industry at all.

Just as Ninja once spent his days slinging noodles for a restaurant chain, Pearce, too, held down a regular job while she tried to figure out what to do with her life. She worked in a call center, an experience she told The Las Vegas Review Journal was "the worst." It wasn't until she stumbled across a job listing one day for a "volunteer games writer" that, according to her, things "clicked." She knew she wanted to be involved with games. Writing about them seemed like a great first step.

Pearce started her YouTube channel in 2012

Very early on in her games industry career, Pearce made a move that might have seemed small at the time, but turned out to be rather prescient: she started a YouTube channel. YouTube was, of course, quite big in 2012 already. Pearce didn't instantly stand out, though she did receive partner status rather quickly. But running her own channel gave her the opportunity to hone her video production skills, get comfortable speaking on camera, and share her thoughts and feelings about games.

Over the course of the next few years, Pearce's YouTube channel became her central hub for sharing opinions and updates about her life. She posted video game reviews. She reflected on the importance of Pokemon. She did her own hardware previews. And, yes, she shared some personal things, too. Regardless of what she was doing or who she was working for, her YouTube channel served as a constant, enabling her to carve out her own dedicated space in the community.

Pearce worked her way up by volunteering and freelancing

A career in journalism can feel fraught with danger, as it's really tough to predict what will happen. This is especially true when you're covering video games. Websites sometimes disappear overnight. Entire streaming platforms unexpectedly shut down. There is a lot of competition for very few roles. None of that seemed to deter Pearce from trying to stake her claim, though.

Pearce's own path is dotted with various stints at smaller gaming outlets, as well as some part-time work for larger companies. "I invented jobs, basically," she told The Las Vegas Review Journal. She put in time at Impulse Gamer. She created videos for Zelda Universe. She even hosted events for Xbox Australia and reported on pop culture and gaming for the BBC.

She worked roughly a dozen different gigs between 2012 and 2015, some concurrently. And through all of that, she never took her eye off of the ball. She knew she wanted to work in gaming, so she scrapped and did everything in her power to make it happen.

Pearce felt moving to the U.S. offered the best shot at success

Pearce managed to make a name for herself in video games, reporting and producing videos for a number of different outlets. Early on in her career, though, she was doing that all from Australia — her home country. This undoubtedly made things more difficult. Eventually, there came a point in time when Pearce decided that, for her career to really take off, she needed to move to the U.S. As she put it in an interview with PocketGamer.biz, she "felt the Australian industry was a little too small."

In a YouTube video posted in early 2015, Pearce talked about her impending move and what it would mean for her. She would still be doing the same thing — covering video games on her YouTube channel and for other websites. She was also very open about some of the uncertainty she was feeling. "I am so, so unprepared for this," she said.

The move ended up being a very good one for Pearce. Once she was in the U.S., her career really began to take off.

Pearce landed a job at IGN, but had some visa issues

A few months into her new U.S. life, Pearce set her sights on securing an even bigger role in games: a job with IGN, one of the premier gaming websites. The company had a role open for a Toys & Culture Editor, and Pearce applied. After what she described in a YouTube video as a very involved interview process, Pearce was hired. Sort of.

The visa Pearce was on in the middle of 2015 – when IGN wanted to hire her — did not allow her to work in the U.S. Further complicating matters was the fact that her visitor visa was also set to expire. IGN apparently worked to try and get a visa in time for Pearce to stay and begin her job, but that didn't happen. Pearce had to move back to Australia for a few months and wait. Regardless, she was committed to seeing this part of her dream through.

"This is going to completely change everything that I have in my life right now," she said in her video. "And I think the way that you grow and improve as a person is by making yourself really uncomfortable."

Eventually, the visa situation got worked out, and Pearce officially started with IGN in late 2015.

Pearce eventually became the host of IGN's Daily Fix

Pearce put about two years in at IGN before she got her next big break. She'd already moved up to a producer role, and even got to review some games and appear on several IGN podcasts. Something even bigger was waiting, though, and it arrived when IGN mainstay Naomi Kyle decided to leave the company in October 2017. That left the website's flagship video show, Daily Fix, without a host.

With her on-camera experience, Pearce was a natural fit to step in and take over. From that point forward, Pearce was essentially the face of IGN. She hosted Daily Fix all while continuing to work as a producer on other projects and still appearing on podcasts and live streams. She'd seemingly reached the top of the mountain in terms of games media. She still had other goals she wanted to accomplish, however, and would soon set plans into motion to achieve them.

Pearce left IGN and moved to Rooster Teeth

Pearce surprised everyone in June 2018 by announcing that she was leaving IGN. It was roughly three years after she'd gotten her first offer from the company, and in that span, she'd worked her way up from Toys & Culture Editor to Producer to Daily Fix host. Still, she decided to take her talents to another company: Rooster Teeth.

"I'm very ambitious," she said in a YouTube video, adding, "I felt stuck. I felt like I didn't have a lot of career progression." She also seemed to take a shot at IGN's pay, noting that she'd be shutting down her Patreon account because she no longer needed it to "afford to pay rent."

At Rooster Teeth, Pearce worked on a number of shows, including Gaming Weekly and Inside Gaming. Her ambition, however, would drive her to make another move nearly two-and-a-half years after arriving. On YouTube, she announced that she was leaving Rooster Teeth in October 2020 — this time for something completely different.

Pearce joined Sony Santa Monica as a writer

In November 2020, Pearce finally spilled the beans on where she was headed after Rooster Teeth. Posting an image of herself on Twitter in a new t-shirt, she excitedly let her followers know what was next for her career.

"Hi everyone," she wrote. "I'm finally allowed to announce my new job... as a video game writer at @SonySantaMonica, who you probably know as the studio who make God of War." She added, "I am so, SO proud to be a part of this incredible team." It was a long and winding road, but in just eight years, Pearce managed to go from industry outsider to a full-fledged game studio employee. The question is, will that be it?

As Pearce herself admitted, she is ambitious. It is hard to imagine that Sony Santa Monica will be her last stop. But as she's proven already, she has the drive to do pretty much whatever she sets her mind to. Pearce has transformed quite a bit over the past decade, but if history is any indication, this isn't her final form.