The Creative England Games Scale Up Programme is under way. The programme, which is supported by Ukie, is helping a number of ambitious games businesses across the UK to grow their businesses with the help of some of the most inspirational business leaders to emerge from our sector.
But which companies have secured a place on the programme? Let's take a look.
aPriori Digital - https://aprioridigital.com/about
aPriori Digital is a games development studio based in Bristol, England. They are a friendly and knowledge team that have created and worked on a range of games including Aperion Cyberstorm, The Bradwell Conspiracy, Can Androids Pray and Double Pug Switch with many more currently in development.
They create their own IP as well as offer their services as a work-for-hire studio to help with all types of game development, games console porting and publishing.
Tag Games - https://www.tag-games.com/
Tag Games are a mobile development studio based in Dundee, Scotland. They specialise in working with exciting IP and big ambitions. They have spent years making sure they are the perfect partner for companies who want to make amazing mobile games. Working primarily as a Free to Play mobile games developer that have worked for other studios. They have a good track record of delivering large scales IP products for clients across the globe. And are taking their first steps into the platforms and business models. Over 8 years, the company grew from 6 to 50.
GLITCHERS - https://maxscottslade.com
GLITCHERS was started by brothers Maxwell and Hugo as a self-funded studio with ambitions to become a household name in gaming. Maxwell is an award winning game designer (BAFTA nominated, Webby, D&AD, Cannes Lions) and has worked on incredible games that cross from gaming into other sectors such as healthcare, fintech and education - as well as producing original content under the GLITCHERS brand.
Slug Disco Studios - http://slugdisco.com/
Slug Disco Studios is a small indie games development studio based in the UK. The company was founded by 3 friends: Matt, John & Liam, who met back in school and lived together through university. The company was set up to support their dream of producing a video game all about ants. With a combination of freelance educational software contracts, a grant from Creative England, and a kickstarter campaign, they were able to see their first major video game project "Empires of the Undergrowth" through to Steam's Early Access programme in December 2017.
Cardboard Sword - https://cardboardsword.co.uk/
Cardboard Sword is an
independent games company formed in 2013. Working fully remotely, they
currently have a staff of 11 across the UK, with contractors around the world
including Chile and Australia.
The AAA-experienced team comprises ex-developers from places like Playground Games, Frontier, Cloud Imperium, Sumo Digital and Double Eleven, and now works exclusively on their own-IP.
Now hiring and with two games in development – stealth Metroidvania ‘The Siege and the Sandfox’ and chill 80s driving game ‘Transmission’ – they’re growing in both company size and portfolio.
Ground Shatter Ltd - http://groundshatter.com/
Ground Shatter is a Bristol-based PC and Console development studio, with a focus on action-orientated short session experience. Founded in 2014, the company’s first title, SkyScrappers was released on PlayStation 4 and Steam, partly funded via Creative England. In March 2019, the company’s biggest title yet - multiplayer, first-person shooter RICO - was launched across all major platforms. Over the course of the last six years the company has grown steadily from a solo development effort to a team of eight full-time staff, built up from the experienced local developers alongside hand- picked junior talent. The team is currently hard at work completing the hotly anticipated deck-building, action-movie tactics game Fights in Tight Spaces
Playtra Games - https://www.playtra.com/
Playtra is an independent game studio, which quickly grew into a
team of 9 diverse staff, winning the ROKiT Global PitchFest and Silver medal in
the IndieBooster Competition, in 2020 where they came up at first place among
more than 400 game projects. Playtra's mission is to create the games that
define a generation. Pushing the boundaries of genres like strategy and RPG
while exploring new trends in gaming with deliciously fun game mechanics.
Playtra believe games have the power to change everything. Games push the boundaries of what is possible in technology and art. They aspire to be pioneers, creating the new worlds that gamers will inhabit for many years to come.
Huey Games Ltd - www.hueygames.com
Huey Games develop original IP such as Hyper Sentinel, which they self-published in 2018 on PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, Mac and iOS, and upcoming titles Wreckout (2021) and Mechinus (2022).
They are also a trusted console porting service provider, with clients including Sold Out Software (Radical Rabbit Stew for PS4 and Xbox, plus unannounced projects) and small indie developers such as James Lightfoot (The Mystery of Woolley Mountain for Nintendo Switch), ihobo (Silk for Nintendo Switch), Matt Glanville (Switch 'N' Shoot for PS4 and Xbox One), and Puppygames (Basingstoke for current and next-gen consoles).
Their veteran team have extensive experience in game design, game development and publishing. Between them, they have led the production of hundreds of hit games across almost every platform.
Flick Games - https://www.flick.games/
Flick Games was formed in May 2019 as a home to Flick Solitaire, a new genre-defining solitaire game for mobile. Flick raised an angel round in April 2020 and Flick Solitaire launched on iOS and Android mid-June 2020.
Nequinox Studios - https://nequinox-studios.com/
Nequinox are a
'AAA' games studio based on the outskirts of one of the UK's brightest and most
vibrant cities, Manchester. Led by Anthony and Stephen Robinson, the company
was founded as a centre for technical excellence in the video games industry.
In the two years since opening their doors, they have become the 'go-to' studio
for technical challenges and co-development on AAA and mobile games.
Nequinox embrace new technology, ideas and platforms and employ game players and game makers with pedigree who share their values and passion for games. They are proud of their technical DNA, but are a creative and fun-loving bunch too. Nequinox actively generate ideas and bring their collective skills, story-telling and energy together to produce amazing games.
Make Real Ltd - https://makereal.co.uk/
Make Real is an award-winning immersive technologies content
developer and publisher, with a proven track record in creating validated,
meaningful and memorable learning experiences for the enterprise and
entertainment sectors, at work, in and out-of-home.
Their background in learning, games and simulation design and development means we lead the way in creating content determined by objectives and outcomes, not driven by the technologies. However their team of creatives, coders, designers - and internal partnerships team - ensure they remain at the forefront of the technology and understanding audience and user needs, always looking to evangelise and educate partners on the benefits and use cases of immersive technologies.
Make Real are trusted by some of the world’s largest organisations to design and deliver their learning & development, training and simulation solutions, including Vodafone, Lloyds Banking Group, Porsche, McDonald’s and EDF Energy.
Make Real is an approved developer partner with Oculus for Business ISV, HTC Vive, Microsoft HoloLens, Sony PlayStation VR and Google.
Nosebleed Interactive Ltd - www.nosebleedinteractive.com
Nosebleed Interactive are a multi-award winning game development studio. Named as one of the Top 50 creative companies in the country by Creative England, they have worked with some of the world’s biggest content providers such as Sony Interactive Entertainment and on brands such as Star Trek. Nosebleed Interactive have won several awards including best small to medium business in the Newcastle Business Awards. Alongside this they were among the first companies to receive support from the prestigious UK Games Fund.
Alongside launching their own IP, Nosebleed Interactive have also grown into a trusted work for hire studio, helping publishers port to console, building other companies games and apps from the ground up and consulting on various projects across a variety of industries such as broadcast TV, theatre, healthcare and obviously video games.
Draw & Code - https://www.drawandcode.com/
Draw & Code are a leading experiential XR studio who craft AR, VR, immersive installations and games. Not only does this include original and licensed IP and products, Draw & Code also offer development services for innovation-hungry brands. Clients and partners include Mercedes, Sony, Red Bull, Liverpool Football Club, Nokia, Hyundai, Chelsea Football Club, John Lewis, Unilever, National Museums Liverpool and more. The studio has also authored two augmented reality-focused patents and are cited in industry best-practice guides from Unity, the industry standard toolkit for games development.
Earthbound Games - https://www.earthboundgames.com/
Earthbound Games is a Dundee based game development studio focused on creating competitive multiplayer experiences aimed at the esport marketplace. Earthbound's first title, Axiom Soccer, an online multiplayer which combined elements of vehicular soccer with those of a competitive shooter, was released on Steam's Early Access in April, 2019. In early 2020, Earthbound Games was restarted by 3 members of the original team, completing a small investment round in June 2020.