Friday, 25th June 2010 at 9:30 am
Up close and personal with Playlogic and Guerrilla Games; the biggest publishers and developers in the Netherlands
Playlogic Entertainment Inc.
Headcount: 110+ (300+ external)
Speciality: Largest Publisher in the Netherlands
Playlogic are an independent publisher of entertainment software for console, PC, handheld, mobile devices and other digital platforms.
Based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, the firm publish titles developed by other studios and through the Playlogic Game Factory – the firm’s in-house development facility.
“Finding experience in the Netherlands can be difficult. Traditionally the first countries publishers will look to for development is the UK or the US & Canada, where games development is a major part of the commerce and where the larger AAA studios are based,” says studio head Olivier Lhermite.
“But there is a great sense of community. Our industry is so small that everyone knows each other, and we all move in the same circles.”
Around 110 permanent staff work at Playlogic, responsible for distributing, selling, licensing, PR & marketing and product development for the company.
“The whole Dutch development community continues to grow in both experience and maturity,” Lhermite adds.
“At Playlogic the staff are pan-European. We have people here from the Netherlands, France, Belgium, Poland and Germany to name a just a few.”
The Playlogic Game Factory itself, based in Breda, employs around 80 staff to develop titles across the current generation of platforms. The PGF is also a first party contractor for SCEE.
The company’s principal source of revenue comes from publishing, with the firm retaining most of the IP that they publish.
“The Dutch can be very frugal at times,” warns Lhermite.
“When it comes to budgets and costs, people here will not waste money unnecessarily. There is a great willingness to break out into new areas, however – to test new ideas and concepts and see where they take you.”
Speciality: Largest Developer in the Netherlands
Guerrilla Games is a developer and wholly owned subsidiary of SCEE, based in Amsterdam and headed by managing director Hermen Hulst and development director Arjan Brussee.
Best known for the Playstation-exclusive Killzone series, Guerrilla recently confirmed they are working on a third – and 3D – game in the profitable series, though no release date is yet confirmed.
Guerrilla signed with Sony in 2005, and now employ around 130 development staff from more than 20 different countries. The company HQ is based in a 17th century mansion in the centre of Amsterdam.
“There isn’t a critical mass of talent here that you might find on the American West Coast or in the greater London area,” says MD Hulst.
“This means that to find specific talent or specific services, a team may have to look abroad. Development today is a global phenomenon.”
The studio frequently espouses its commitment to “recruiting, developing and retaining the best talent in the industry make Guerrilla an expert in the 'expat experience'.”
“There is a great sense of continuity here, though,” Hulst adds.
“Staff turnaround is very low compared to other businesses and studios. Almost the entire leadership of the team has been here from the beginning.”
Hulst was also keen to describe a continuing growth and development of the company as a whole, however.
“Over the last few months we have brought on six interns from a new and extremely ambitious school called the NHTV in Breda. Many schools have created games related programs over the last few years, which is great for the industry,” he says.
“Studios must ensure that there is sufficient opportunity for new talent to obtain some practical skills by offering actual time on game projects.”
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