Happy birthday to us! As of today, Outplay have been making great games for six years!
Back in 2011 we started from small beginnings, a team of two – Douglas and Richard Hare - with high aspirations. The company is now built up of over 150 talented Outplayers, throughout various teams and departments.
There’s plenty of celebrations going on around the office, but it’s also the perfect opportunity to reflect on these past six years, and what better way to do it than to talk to some of our veteran Outplayers!
Emma Purvey – HR & Recruitment Manager
When I first met with Doug and Richard and heard about their plans for Outplay I was really inspired with their ambition, energy and desire for the creative and inclusive culture we wanted to build to make Outplay an amazing place to work.
Outplay has built itself into an incredible business and the leadership and team we have are testament to the successes that have been achieved over the last 6 years.
For me, the major milestones are always the year end when we reflect back on what we have accomplished. With the various different projects being worked on, the time really does fly and it can be easy to underestimate the scale of what we make happen on a weekly and quarterly basis. We take the time at our annual party to appreciate the scale of what is being done, and the continual growth the company is gaining. It’s an incredible and inspiring overview.
Our progression as a team, business and portfolio is outstanding and I’m so proud to be a part of Outplay and continue to be excited to play my part in helping the company achieve its ambitions.
Leading HR and Recruitment at Outplay affords me the view of the development journey our team go through and the impact this has on the insane level of quality and creativity that is going into our games.
There’s nothing more satisfying in our team than hiring in new talent and seeing them thrive in our environment.
We have graduates from our first year leading on our games and rising stars embracing new opportunities to take the next step in their field and careers.
This is incredibly satisfying and with our games and studio leading at the forefront of the market I’m excited about the teams continuing success and the credit for all their talent and hard work that goes into making our games great.
Mark McMichael – Design Manager
I started 2-3 weeks into the life of Outplay in Dundee, within a small team but occupying a huge office, with plans to expand and grow. I also felt very excited for my future here and that of the company. Coming from a mobile background, I was already familiar with the App Store and Facebook games really catching fire and saw this as a great opportunity for the Dundee & Scottish games industry to have a significant new games company targeting our own IP and a massive global audience.
It’s difficult to pick my favourite memory of working at Outplay for the last 6 years, from the development and launch of Alien Creeps TD, pitching a million different ideas in concept meetings, running club, parties, bungee runs in the rain…etc. However, a few of my favourites are:
Launching Bubble Blaze
The grandfather of our more recent casual games, we learned the importance of progression and the impact that can have on our key game metrics. I remember watching our analytics of our launch weekend and seeing a marked difference between Bubble Blaze and Booty Quest!
Monster Legacy getting Editor’s Choice
Although we had other successful games, seeing one of our own games at the top spot on the app store for the first time was awesome.
Development and Launch of Angry Birds Pop!
I was on a ferry on my way to Arran on holiday when I received a call about working with Rovio on an Angry Birds Bubble Popper. 2 weeks later I was in a small boarded up room with Graham and Riccardo (two other Outplayers) working on the design, the prototype and the style of the game. Two years later its worked out pretty well so far!
Growing the Design Department
Moving into the design manager position and growing the team from 2 to 20 designers has been a fun and educational journey, probably where I feel I have learned and grown the most.
One of the things I’m most looking forward to as we continue into year 7 is the launch of our new games this year, we aim to go above our previous games and with Castle Creeps TD and more upcoming releases I can’t wait to see what reception we get!
The evolution of our currently live games is also very exciting, moving to have more events and more frequent contact with our players is immensely rewarding. Working on new features and then seeing them come out in relatively short time frame is also a great feeling, and hopefully we’ll impress our players as we continue to improve the game. I can’t wait to see the reaction to what Crafty Candy, Angry Birds Pop, Castle Creeps…etc. have lined up!
Douglas Hare – CEO, Outplay Entertainment
What was the initial goal when first starting Outplay?
Before launching Outplay, Richard, my brother and Outplay’s co-founder, and I each had over two decades in the traditional, retail games industry working on big, typically licensed, games for console and PC. Although we would develop the games we were reliant on large publishers to take the games to market. The launch of the App Store in 2008 alongside the rapidly growing market for games on Facebook suddenly created the opportunity for us to not only develop games but publish them directly to a global audience which for us was a dream come true. So, at the outset of Outplay, our goal was to assemble an exceptional team, develop world-class original games, establish ourselves as a global leader in the market and grow an audience of engaged, passionate players.
What are the key major milestones to yourself that the company achieved during the last six years?
When Richard and I opened the doors to the studio in Dundee six years ago there was just the two of us in a very large, very empty office. We now have a team of over 150 exceptionally talented people in the studio in Dundee and over 40 in our Eight Pixels Square studio in Derby. Over the course of the first six years the team has developed and launched over ten games and each of them is a significant milestone; however, launching our first titles Word Trick in October of 2011 and Booty Quest in November has special significance as we simply hadn’t done anything like that before and it marks the point where we started having a direct relationship with our audience and an understanding of what that means. Beyond that, hitting massive multi-million download counts, receiving massive app store featuring for almost all our games, reaching top chart positions and being nominated for and winning awards are all key milestones for Outplay and I’m certain we have many more to come.
What does Outplay hope to achieve going forward into 2017 and beyond?
Between Outplay’s spectacular launch of Castle Creeps TD in January and Eight Pixels Squares new game, Retro Soccer, reaching the top 10 in the Games charts in over 70 countries in March, 2017 is already off to a flying start! For the rest of the year we’ll be continuing to make significant additions and improvements to Alien Creeps TD, Mystery Match, Angry Birds POP! (which we work on in partnership with Rovio), Crafty Candy, Bubble Genius, and Castle Creeps TD, as well as launch two new games we’ve been working on for a while and are very excited about. Everything we do is focused on making our games better and better for all of our audience around the world and we love to see that work being appreciated in the feedback and reviews we receive every single day.
Here’s to a great 2017 and another fantastic year for everyone at Outplay!