Dundee man spins off Channel 4 games publisher

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Colin Macdonald of All 4 Games

Channel 4’s mobile game publishing arm is to become an independent company led by Dundee industry veteran Colin Macdonald.

The former studio manager of Realtime Worlds was appointed as Channel 4’s first games commissioning editor in 2011, focusing on games that complimented the television channel’s shows.

This led to All 4 Games being set up by Channel 4 in 2015 to seek and publish new mobile games as well as those based on Channel 4-owned brands such as Googlebox, Eden and Made in Chelsea.

On the latest move, Mr Macdonald said: “Spinning out All 4 Games gives everyone the best of both worlds.

“All 4 Games retains the support of Channel 4 but without necessarily having to only engage in activities that make sense to C4.

“Going forward we want to help developers that are looking for the control and freedom that self-publishing brings but don’t have the budget to pay for marketing or hire consultants and so on.”

Mr Macdonald described the collapse of Realtime Worlds in 2010, which he co-founded and built to employ 300 staff in Dundee, as “horrible to see”.

The company’s first game Crackdown sold more than a million copies and won a video game Bafta, but folded after the release of a multi-player online title called APB, which it had spent $100 million to develop.

However, Mr Macdonald said he felt the Scottish games industry was vibrant and said he would not rule out setting up in Dundee in the future.

“The Scottish games industry took a huge knock when Realtime Worlds went down,” he said.

“What’s really encouraging is that every time I come up to Dundee I find out about at least one new games developer doing something cool.

“There are so many companies springing up. Maybe not many of them are taking over the world in terms of sales just yet, but you never know.

“We certainly have amazing creative and technical talent. It think where we are suffering at the moment is the commercial side.

“We need to not only produce great games, but make great deals and market and sell our games as well but there’s a lot of potential.

“I wouldn’t rule out setting up in Dundee again though I have no plans for it at the moment.

“There’s amazing talent coming out of Abertay and Scottish Enterprise are very supportive.

“If I was looking to set up a second office it would very likely be in Dundee but we need to wait and see how the business goes in the first instance.”