Beartrap Games tell us why Scotland is the perfect launch pad for so many games companies, and why they should be looking at the Games Developers Conference
Den of gaming
With more than 30 years’ experience in making best-selling titles, Dundee-based developer Beartrap Games has a simple mission – “Bring Arcade Back”.
Founding directors Grant Alexander and Fin McGechie have a host of successes between them, having worked on many award-winning titles, including the likes of Syndicate, Theme Park and Magic Carpet throughout their careers.
Using all of their experience in making games across multiple formats, in January 2015 they released their first major title onto the App Store, the internationally acclaimed mobile top-down shooter Sky Patrol.
Grant said: “It’s done really well so far. The Windows Phone version was released in August 2014 and has been featured on the store several times across many regions – including the UK, USA and China. The iOS version was featured under ‘Best New Games’ on many stores. It was a twice-nominated finalist in the UK’s 2014 TIGA awards too.
“Sky Patrol was chosen to be featured at the 2014 Tokyo Game Show – receiving two award nominations from the leading Asian gaming publications. We’ve since released a localised iOS version for the Asian markets, with the game featuring on the Japanese and Korean App Stores.”
Carrying that momentum with them, Beartrap Games will go to this year’s Game Developers’ Conference (GDC) with the aim of attracting publishers and collaborators.
Grant said: “GDC is the event you cannot miss. It’s great for dynamic studios such as ours to network and discuss new work.
“We have two main reasons for going this year. We’ve got some brilliant IP of new games we want to develop. They’re real arcade titles that take a lead from old-school classics, but very much reflect modern trends. We think they’ll be a good draw.
“It will also be good to meet some of our international contacts face-to-face and for them to introduce us to other companies and publishers we could work with.”
He added that GDC was essential for Scottish developers such as Beartrap Games, with the support from Scottish Development International (SDI) and Scottish Enterprise (SE) vital to their chances of success there.
“We’re huge supporters of SDI and SE, who help us go to this event every year,” he said.
“SDI offer a great Scottish presence and provide quiet meeting spaces, which is so valuable at GDC when do need to have a private chat with a potential partner.
From Alba to alpha
Dundee is a perfect fit for Beartrap Games, who are proud to be based in a city renowned as one of the world’s most successful game studio breeding grounds.
Grant said: “Dundee is synonymous with being the birthplace and production rock of some of the biggest video games of our time.
“That has led to the growth and maturation of a workforce with an unrivalled level and variety of skills. Coupled with a solid IT and transport infrastructure and several development hubs across the country – Scotland is the best place to do business in the games industry.
“Scotland is a friendly, passionate and dynamic nation and that is reflected in how Beartrap Games does business.”
With an existing base of closely connected game companies, and a workforce that has the specialist skills for modern games development, Scotland can be an excellent home for any games company.
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