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The videogame industry is a notoriously volatile and fast-moving business, with its place at the forefront of technological change requiring a readiness for upheaval at any moment. What makes it even more impressive is that Liverpool-based Ripstone celebrates its 10th anniversary as a games studio this year, successfully building a company for the modern gaming landscape and continuing to position itself where games moving forward.
A decade ago, co-founders Phil Gaskell and Leo Cubin recognized that the industry was in the midst of a transition that provided huge opportunities for a company to embrace them wholeheartedly.
Recalling the founding of Ripstone, Phil says, “We both recognized that digital distribution was going to be transformative for the games industry, so we put together a plan for a game publishing label that specializes in that space. Fulfilling that vision wasn’t easy—Phil remembers the company’s early years in tears in his kitchen, fearing they might go bad.
However, a series of smart decisions shifted the company’s focus to game development and sent those tears past. With over 40 million sales and successful titles under its belt, including Chess Ultra, Poker Club, Snooker 19 And pure poolThe company is thriving in the modern gaming landscape. In 2021, everyone wants games that keep players coming back, and with a roster of evergreen simulation titles that do just that, the company is in an enviable position.
Ripstone’s ability to adapt to the demands of the moment is underpinned by the strength of vision that has helped it stay the course while others around him figure out the ‘next big thing’.
‘I think we’ve been good at resisting the gold rush and staying true to our vision,’ reflects Phil. ‘When we founded the company, the thing was that console games were dead. Our people at the time wanted us to set our foot firmly in both the mobile gaming and Facebook gaming space, and we had to work hard to convince them that our vision was right. We were right to do so.
‘We continued to deliver high quality premium console games and saw people around us move to mobile, and sadly most of them failed. Now, 10 years later, console gaming is stronger than ever and Ripstone has deftly continued to leverage itself and grow in this rapidly growing field.’
Along with its financial success, the company has also built a reputation as an exceptional employer, having been recognized recently by GamesIndustry.biz’s Best Place to Work Awards 2021. The award recognizes a positive view of diversity and other employment practices.
‘We are and always have been a people’s business,’ says Phil, explaining that a lot of work has gone into ensuring that Ripstone provides the right benefits and environment to enrich the working lives of its employees. ‘Winning an award shows that your work is paying off and the team is happy. When you promote a workplace like this, you know you’ll get the best out of people, and it will shine in the games you do.’
The two new studios, in Birmingham and Marathon, Greece, are a big part of the company’s plans as it continues to evolve and remains focused on building strong internal development teams established in Ripstone’s positive work culture.
‘Birmingham is led by Mark Williams, an incredibly talented programmer with whom we worked on some of our early games,’ says Phil. ‘We are actively looking to grow the development studio with game programmers, artists and production and design staff for years to come. They are working on an as yet unannounced title, and knowing how good Mark is with technology, it promises to be one of the most amazing games you will ever see.’
The company is also expanding its development and marketing teams to its home base in the Baltic Triangle of Liverpool. Phil explains, ‘We are full of ideas and, thanks to our continued success, we are looking forward to working with partners eager to create ambitious original games, develop our profitable live games, and harness the creativity of our fantastic talent. are well prepared.
The new studio and a growing team provide a foundation for Ripstone to continue its tradition of staying ahead of the curve. This includes exploring opportunities in China and the rise of streaming, which is entering the realm of gaming after revolutionizing other forms of media.
“At Ripstone, we are focused on building a catalog of games that will continue to delight global audiences and generate solid revenue across all streaming platforms,” says Phil. Ripstone’s vision has led it for a decade — and it looks primary to stay strong over the next decade.
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originally published on business reporter
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /