The racing specialist marvels at an industry that is constantly reinventing itself
In our latest partner spotlight, Codemasters' VP Business Franchise Gary Dunn tells us why it's more important than ever for developers to listen to their increasingly vocal consumers.
Long-running developer and publisher Codemasters is a gold partner for this year's Develop Awards, which takes place at the Brighton Hilton Metropole on Wednesday, July 9th. More info below.
Partner Spotlight: Codemasters
Year Founded: 1986
Tell us a little more about your company and its goals.
From the 1986 release of BMX Simulator on cassette tape for the 8-bits to the arrival of GRID Autosport on Steam right now, Codemasters has been at the heart of the UK’s development and publishing scene for some 28 years.
Codemasters’ Warwickshire base has evolved into a contemporary multi-studio campus, which plays home to the BAFTA Award-winning Racing Studio, the talent behind the DiRT and GRID franchises and our online community hub RaceNet. Our countryside campus also hosts our digital and smart device teams alongside our ground-breaking Central Technology team, responsible for the EGO Game Technology Platform, currently being engineered from the ground up.
For over five years, Codemasters Birmingham has been home to the BAFTA Award-winning series of Formula One games and now hosts the talents of two teams: one crafting new Formula One experiences for consoles and the other creating digital and smart device titles. Codemasters Birmingham offers a friendly working culture in an open-plan, fully refurbished 6th floor office overlooking the city’s entertainment district.
What differentiates you from similar outfits? What's unique about you?
With some 400 people at our Warwickshire campus and another 100 in Birmingham, it’s a hugely energising place to be – working alongside a diverse set of talented individuals who share a passion in gaming and racing, our primarily category right now. Codemasters is a very collaborative operation, knowledge sharing between teams and coming together to forge new technology and we’re doing right now reengineering our EGO technology from the ground up and for deployment across smart devices, new gen consoles and high-end PC formats. With such a long term heritage, the company is full of people who grew up playing Codemasters titles and their passion has driven them to pursue a career in gaming; for many here they’ve hit the dream job.
What excites and/or encourages you about the games industry and games development today?
I am personally excited in the manner in which the industry is re-inventing itself. From the relatively narrow predictable nature of the PS2 era, fewer platforms, fewer business models, to the polar opposite. I believe it is causing a change in the game development economy, where publishers, large studios, Indies and freelancers will all play a vital part. Another specific which encourages me about game development today is the iterative nature of development, not just in Smart Device platforms either. Today’s successful developer need to stand closer to their consumers and listen to what they are saying. Oh, and did I mention VR?
Looking at the Develop Awards finalists (list here), what does it say to you about the industry and development today?
The game production scene has never been so vibrant and offer so many opportunities or avenues for players to discover new gaming experiences; from mainstream big hitter titles to the more creatively-driven experimental titles. Codemasters is a long-term supporter of the Develop Awards, recognising their importance in celebrating the teams’ and studios’ contributions to the creation of the very best in gaming today; honouring achievements in breaking new ground and satisfying audiences whether at a mainstream or niche level.
Do you have a message for the finalists?
Enjoy yourselves, celebrate each other’s successes and be proud of the diversity and talent that is alive and kicking throughout the development community.
Anything else you'd like to add about your company and the Develop Awards?
We’re hiring! http://blog.codemasters.com/careers/
About The Develop Awards
The 2014 Develop Awards will take place on Wednesday, July 9th at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Brighton, and recognises the best innovators and development talent in the UK and Europe.
If you want to attend, you can book single seats and standard or gold tables by contacting Kathryn.Humphrey@intentmedia.co.uk or calling 01992 535646.
There are multiple new awards this year, with a total of 24 prizes up for grabs, while PlayStation 4 lead architect Mark Cerny is 2014's Development Legend.
There is a host of big names backing this year's Develop Awards, including Crytek and Deep Silver as Platinum Partners, a slew of Gold Partners in UKIE, Amiqus, Keywords International, Codemasters, Perforce, Cubic Motion and Unity, Event Partners Wales Interactive, InnoGames and Tandem Events and Table Gift Partner OPM.
For more information on the sponsorship and partnership opportunities still available, contact Alex.Boucher@intentmedia.co.uk or call 01992 535647.
You can find out more about the Develop Awards at the official Develop Awards website.