Why games firm Outplay moved from California to Scotland

Games and mobile developer Outplay Entertainment swapped the Golden Coast of California for the east coast of Scotland - here's why.

“Scotland is a phenomenal place to both visit and ultimately to live. We have some of the best universities in the world. There's no question that Scotland is one of the most connected places in the world.”

Douglas Hare, co-founder and CEO, Outplay

Scotland: The perfect location for tech talent

When Richard and Douglas Hare decided to create a new company to develop games for mobile and social network platforms, the brothers were based in California. But when it came to finding a base for their new company, they quickly realised that Scotland was the perfect location.

An existing relationship with our staff helped the brothers explore all that Scotland has to offer companies in the games industry - and that led them to bring Outplay Entertainment to Dundee in 2011.

Douglas Hare, CEO of Outplay, said: "We made the decision it was going to be perfect for us to locate the company here.

"It was very important for us that we were going to be able to go to a place that was, on a tech basis, world-class."

And by locating to Dundee, Outplay would have access to Scotland's tech and gaming talent. 

"Most important for a business like us is available talent, being able to go in and rather than having to build talent out of nowhere, know there is a great level of experience and expertise," said Douglas.

"There were really very few places in the world that had experience doing social network games or mobile games, both of which were being done in Dundee."

From Dundee to the world

From its Dundee base, Outplay has been able to connect with partners across the world and become part of a global phenomenon. 

Possibly one of Outplay's best known games on the market is Angry Birds Pop. It's a game that it created in collaboration with the Finnish company Rovio.

"Angry Birds is a global phenomenon that's been downloaded over three billion times worldwide. It's probably one of the best know franchises in the world," said Douglas.

Dundee remains the company's main base, and Outplay has grown from its two founders to a team of around 130 staff from over 30 nations. It's now the UK's largest independent mobile developer.

Outplay's latest mobile games release, Gordon Ramsay's Chef Blast, launched worldwide in six different languages. It was created in close collaboration with international celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay and Chinese co-development partner, iDreamSky.

Outplay's next title will be a follow-up to its Mystery Match game based on its new technology platform.

To date, the studio’s games have received over 100 million downloads, have been featured multiple times as Apple’s Editors’ Choice and received a BAFTA nomination. Most recently the studio won the TIGA 2017 Best Strategy Game for Castle Creeps TD and was recognised as one of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK.

Expansion plans

Outplay is clearly heading for big things, and thanks to the skills and experience available across the country, Scotland offers the perfect location for further expansion. 

"If the company became so successful that it required further growth, there's Glasgow, there's Edinburgh, there's lots of places in Scotland that we could open another location and start tapping the talent there," Douglas said.

More on Outplay's website

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If you’d like to hear more about the experience of Outplay and how Scotland could be an ideal location for your games company, we’re here to help.