Dundee developer Outplay hired more than 30 staff this year as the games industry saw growth during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The firm, based in the Vision building at Greenmarket, saw revenues increase last year and chief executive Douglas Hare said 2021 is set to be a “banner year”.
Outplay sold a subsidiary, Mobile Gaming Studios, for more than £12 million, with the proceeds put towards focusing on ‘casual’ gaming on mobiles.
In the next year, Outplay will launch two new titles, one which is a collaboration with an “international celebrity”.
Mr Hare said: “We’re very excited about that and the hope there is that his celebrity status means we will find a way of attracting an audience.
“Discoverability is a big challenge with games, especially on mobiles – how do your audience find your game?
“The expectation is that a game featuring an internationally known celebrity should allow us to find a pretty significant audience really quickly.”
Mr Hare said the second Outplay Entertainment title to launch next year is a follow-up the popular Mystery Match game and is an “incredibly lavish production.”
The two games, plus the game Outplay Entertainment released earlier this year are all based on new technology, set to be the firm’s game platform for the next five to 10 years.
Mr Hare said there had been industry wide growth in gaming during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown, with many people discovering mobile games for the first time.
He said: “People were sitting at home and looking to be entertained and there’s only so much Netflix you can consume.
“For mobile games in particular, the vast majority of the population have a device they carry with them more or less every waking moment that’s really good for playing games.
“There’s no hurdle – you don’t have to go out and buy a new console or pay £60 for a game, you already have the device and our games are free to play.
Recently lodged accounts for Outplay Entertainment, which has a staff of 130, show turnover increase and the firm swing into profit.
Turnover rose by 5.2% from £18.2m in 2018, to £19.1m for the year ending December 31, 2019.
Pre-tax losses in 2018 came to £1.4m in 2018, moved to a pre-tax profit of £675,000 last year.
Mr Hare said the reversal of fortunes followed a period of investment in titles which were now attracting revenue.
He said: “The thing about the mobile game industry is it is about investment and time period for a return on that investment.
“We still have games that are more than five years old and we still have people playing those games.
“Although there is a loss in this investment period as you build audiences, that then pays back over many years.”
Mr Hare said the firm had continued to recruit during the pandemic and had hired more than 30 staff, many of whom had not yet been in the firm’s Dundee HQ due to travel restrictions.
“We are fortunate that we are in an industry that where people can work completely remotely. Many of us have not even met.
“We have three members of the senior management team that aren’t even in the country. It’s been a real eye opener and we have zero intention of going back to what we thought was the normal nine months ago.”