'Small teams can make as good a game as console giants'

'Small teams can make as good a game as console giants'
James Batchelor

By James Batchelor

March 18th 2014 at 1:24AM

Kongregate champions the age of microstudios, but warns that scale is still important for successful launches

GameStop-owned gaming portal Kongregate believes smaller developers can make just as good a game as console studios with thousands of employees.

CEO Emily Greer told Develop in San Francisco that the rise of microstudios on mobile has done nothing to diminish the quality of games being released.

Kongregate, traditionally focused on web and Flash games, is this year upping the ante with its mobile publishing business and has been impressed with the titles it has discovered out there.

“One thing that’s interesting about the mobile market is that it’s not like consoles: you don’t need 2,000 people to make a game,” Greer told Develop. “A small studio, with a team of six to seven people, can make as good a game as a 30 to 40-person team. Supercell’s Clash of Clans was developed by a very small team.”

However, she warns that while microstudios and indies might thrive when it comes to the actual development of a game, releasing a title successfully is a much tougher challenge.

“The total company size may not need to be big to make a great game, but you do need a certain scale to really launch it,” she warned.

While Kongregate may be concentrating on growing its mobile business, there are no plans to scale back its web operations and the portal that attracted a GameStop acquisition with its impressive growth.

Many large web companies such as Zynga, Kongregate and Spil Games have recently discussed their intentions to focus on developing mobile games first but, according to Greer, there’s still plenty of life left in browser games.

“The web is still growing,” she said. “The death of web has definitely been prematurely predicted. Both our traffic and our revenue grew substantially last year.”

Greer took over Kongregate as CEO last month after her brother Jim stepped down to part-time duties. Last year, the firm announced a $10m fund for mobile developers.

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