The difference between a Game Designer and a Product Manager sometimes seems subtle. There is quite a big difference in concept, instead
Both figures exercise the act of game design. Deciding how the game should be. In fact, the whole team does that. Game designers are just facilitators of the act of game design.
Both figures are involved in studying the competitors in depth.
The main difference is the following: while the game designer works in the game, the product manager works on the game.
The product manager is the figure who defines roadmaps, objectives and above all who deals with the positioning of the game on the market. It is the bridge between development and business.
The game designer defines the mechanics and features in detail, making sure everyone on the team is really contributing.
It often happens that game designers, frustrated by the fact that they have no decision-making weight, look a product manager position. Only to find themselves frustrated that they are not working in the game, but on the game.
Too often I have met with product managers who are basically ex game designers and enter into issues they shouldn’t. Not because of inability, of course,. but because they take time away from other duties.