Spotlight on Launchpad Games

31 May 2023

Games academy students using equipment
AI for Games lead image
Type: Text
Category: Startups

The UK is a global leader in the creative industries with video games at the forefront of this growth. Launchpad has been building on Cornwall’s creative heritage by supporting teams from Falmouth University’s Games Academy to help found new studios and create skilled high paid jobs in the region.

Launchpad Games Incubation Lead Steve Stopps explained: “Within the games industry there are three main routes to success; publisher support where a publisher identifies a potentially successful game and funds its development in exchange for a revenue share, a work for hire model, where a studio undertakes commissioned work, and self-publishing, where teams use innovations around digital distribution to bring their games to a global audience.

“Video games are effectively a digital manufacturing business, where goods are created digitally, and then exported around the world. A game can be made in Cornwall and sold in the USA, Japan, China and Turkey. This is exciting but adds a great deal of complexity.

“We aim to help new studios navigate this complexity, offering tailored support to help businesses succeed in each of these routes. This has included everything from help with getting set up and incorporating their business to pre-production training, access to industry mentors, publisher feedback sessions and free office space in the Launchpad Venture Studio.”

The programme has so far supported 14 games teams. Notable ones to watch include work for hire team, Studio 316. Since inception, Studio 316 has grown steadily, providing valuable work experience and income to their fellow students, as well as establishing a loyal customer base both within existing game studios and businesses looking to leverage game technology and associated skills. They have plans to triple their customer base in 2023.

Joe Clarke, one of Studio 316 founders, said: “Launchpad Games has undoubtedly been an integral part of our early success and survival as a start-up game development studio. Providing our team with licenses for software needed to carry out our work that are otherwise too expensive, has allowed us to successfully start, grow and sustain our business. Alongside this vital contribution, we have also found a wealth of insight, knowledge and advice from industry experts.”

Knights of Borria are on a mission to make soulful games that focus on fun. For their final year project, they created Leximan. The game was initially launched as a free downloadable demo on a popular independent game platform, and rapidly became a highly downloaded and played demo, with an established loyal fan base.

Steve added: “Following the success of their demo, we supported the team to found their company and prepare for pitching to publishers for investment. From this, the team secured an impressive publishing deal which has funded the development of the game from initial concept through to full launch - watch this space!” 

Ludophoria are preparing to self-publish their title in early 2024. Players can currently Wishlist the game on STEAM - the world’s largest PC game marketplace. By self-funding and publishing, the team will maintain ownership if their IP, and use all revenue to secure the future of their studio.

John-Arthur Mekin, Producer at Ludophoria, said: “I had an ambition to start a games studio powered by talented people and a raw passion for the joy of video games, where we could be our own boss, make the games we want to make, and foster the fair and simple workplace culture we all want for and deserve. My team and I did that. It was only possible because Launchpad Games and the truly caring people involved provided us with the space, resources and support we needed, when we needed it.”

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