Our first London studio profile visits the Disney: Sing It Pop Hits team
One of the newer upstarts in London games development, Zoë Mode London is the year-old spin-off studio from its well-known Brighton sister team.
In 12 months the team has gone from under ten to 25 staff working on a variety of console titles, both those made in-house and at its studios on the UK coast and in San Francisco. Last month’s Disney: Sing It Pop Hits was its latest title.
The studio was set up specifically to widen Kuju’s talent base, explains studio head Nicolas Rodriguez: “Being in London has helped us recruit and attract people from outside the industry. We’ve recruited from the web world, the film and TV editing industry – and even from the City, although that’s not a surprise given the events of the last year.
“I think the cross-pollination of ideas that come from being in such a vibrant city is important: we talk to online and advertising agencies, graphic design studios and recording facilities about the way they work and see if we can learn anything from them. It’s also great to see the London games scene thriving again.”
Indeed: after a tough times for games development in London a few years ago, Zoë Mode is just one of a batch of new and established firms helping reshape what is to be expected of games development alongside stalwarts like Sony’s London Studio and Sports Interactive.
Rodriguez says his team are looking to maintain that cutting edge with a nimble team structure and eagle-eyed R&D unit: “We’ve got a couple of teams working on projects currently with a smaller research group we are ramping up to look at social networks and what the console market can learn from their success.”
And being in London means both diversity, and a place in the middle of a cultural whirlwind.
“We are a close knit group striving for a culture of excellence in everything we do,” says Rodriguez. “It’s a diverse team with some 18 nationalities represented, which is going to make for an interesting World Cup.
He adds: “Thriving in these uncertain economic conditions is what I’m most proud of. We’ve managed to keep working through tough times and I put that down to the character of the team and the commitment to working in an agile way.
We just want to continue growing and developing our culture and expressing that through the work we do.”
Number of staff: 28
Location: Borough High Street
Previous projects: Disney: Sing It Pop Hits
Currently working on: Several unannounced projects.