Hare brothers return with new digital games firm

Hare brothers return with new digital games firm
Michael French

By Michael French

February 10th 2011 at 12:02PM

Outplay targeting social and mobile games, creating 150 jobs in Dundee â?? and backed by Scottish government

The Scottish brothers who helped form US super developer Foundation 9 have returned to the UK to form a new games publisher.

Douglas and Richard Hare (pictured here either side of Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond) have formed Outplay, which will offer social network and mobile games direct to consumers.

The publisher was given special announcement in Scottish Parliament today, and has been backed by Pentech Ventures, a leading venture fund in the digital media market, and the Scottish Investment Bank’s Co-investment Fund.

Outplay will create 150 jobs in Scotland, it was revealed.

Previously, the founded Californian studio The Collective, which was a founding company of giant work for hire studio network Foundation 9.

But speaking to Develop this morning, Douglas Hare said the focus was on a smaller operation that can reach a quicker range of people.

“Over the last few years there has been a huge change in the platforms for how games are distributed. Our aim is to create product of our own liking and then deliver them to market,” he said.

“In terms of budgets and schedules games development is much more achievable now in mobile and social games – on Xbox and PS3 the cost and timing can just get stratospheric, and then after two years work your game may not reach an audience.

“On mobile and Facebook it is entirely different – you come out with relatively small product and see how people respond, then invest further accordingly.”

Outplay is based in Dundee. The games development scene there has seen its fair share of turmoil in the last year, but Hare was optimistic.

“I think we’re actually at a very exciting point in games – it really harkens back to the earlier days of games development, in fact the barrier is even lower. Even when making games for the C64 or Spectrum the issues of manufacturing, pre-fabs and getting into retail was still an issue. Now, with no packaged goods – no atoms involved – the potential is vast.

“There is a wealth of talent in the Dundee and all across the UK,” said Hare. “We really are heading into a great era for games, despite all the gloom some people want to focus on.”

Outplay has a number of titles already signed, developed Hare said by new talented individuals not famed development firms – exact details are expected soon.