Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
September 30, 2014
arrowPress Releases
September 30, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


GameHorizon: Making Splash Damage Into A Triple-A Studio
GameHorizon: Making Splash Damage Into A Triple-A Studio Exclusive
June 24, 2009 | By Jon Jordan

June 24, 2009 | By Jon Jordan
Comments
    3 comments
More: Console/PC, Exclusive



Kicking off the second day of the Game Horizon conference in Newcastle, UK, Splash Damage CEO Paul Wedgwood explained how the one-time ragtag gang of modders has grown into one of the UK's strongest independent developers.

"Our rules of engagement for the business were don't work on movie licenses, don't work on ports, don't do work for hire, and find a big brother to nurture us in those early years," he explained.

That certainly worked in terms of the company's close relationship with id Software, for whom it worked on projects such as Return to Castle Wolfenstein multiplayer and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars.

In turn, this led to another decision early in the company's life: the most successful studios only have one game in development at any one time for one publisher.

"That's how you get focus," Wedgwood said. "We made a decision to shamelessly pursue critical acclaim for our games and we do that by focusing all our effort on making sure the stuff we do is better than the stuff we did."

That includes everything from box artwork to screenshots and marketing materials. "You need to be triple-A in everything you do, from the making sure the copyright year is correct on your website to using the correct logo in your legal document," he said.

However, Splash Damage's new title, Brink, due 2010 for publisher Bethesda, is its first console release. Making the jump from a PC-only studio has been a defining point in its history.

"We looked around at the company and saw we were all hardcore PC multiplayer guys," Wedgwood said. "We knew we would come unstuck with console development, and so decided we would have to hire. We used recruitment consultants and went out aggressively to find talent from around the world."

The company has since doubled its headcount, and now also has its own internal PR, HR and marketing staff. Indeed, investing in staff was one of the mantras of Wedgwood's talk.

"People are the only important asset you have," he said. "You must focus on hiring the best people. Only hire people who are better than you -- because guess what? They have better ideas than you."

Indeed Wedgwood was so enthusiastic about the subject -- "I can't believe I love recruitment consultants," he said at one point -- that the company has added another goal to its shamelessly pursuit of critical acclaim.

"Become Europe's best employer. It's only a small thing," Wedgwood said. "The team is where your company's real value lies."


Related Jobs

Raven Software / Activision
Raven Software / Activision — Madison, Wisconsin, United States
[09.30.14]

Sr. Gameplay Engineer - Raven
CCP
CCP — Reykjavik, Iceland
[09.29.14]

Director, Performance Marketing
Nintendo of America Inc.
Nintendo of America Inc. — Redmond, Washington, United States
[09.29.14]

Software Business Development Manager, Licensing
Respawn Entertainment
Respawn Entertainment — San Fernando Valley, California, United States
[09.29.14]

Senior Animator










Comments


Paul Lazenby
profile image
Judging by the poor sales of Enemy Territory Quake Wars, this guy Wedgwood should spend more time making games and less time talking to the press.

Joseph Cook
profile image
Poor sales? Says who? Maybe on 360 and PS3, but it seemed to do very well on PC.

Sylviano Dolce
profile image
It sold roughly 435k copies according to http://stats.enemyterritory.com/


none
 
Comment: