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Why 2019 is the first year Futureplay hasn’t shipped a new game

Something had to give

Why 2019 is the first year Futureplay hasn’t shipped a new game

This is a press release from Finnish developer Futureplay. We thought was so good, we’ve published it as a guest column.

It has been lightly edited.

In 2019, Futureplay has not shipped a mobile game.

Yes, you read it right: This year Futureplay, has not shipped a mobile game.

This is the same Futureplay that once prided itself on shipping multiple games per year, not spending multiple years per game.

Still, let’s not forget Futureplay is still a relatively young company, having released its first game - Idle Farming Empire - just over four years ago.

And from then until early 2018, Futureplay launched three more games, staying true to its mantra of regularly releasing high-quality new games into the market.

But later that summer, everything changed.

The launch of Battlelands Royale catapulted the company to the main stage of Finland’s top mobile gaming companies.

As the first battle royale game truly designed for mobile, Battlelands Royale took the industry by storm, and was named one of Google Play’s best games of 2018.

The game has since racked up more than 40 million downloads, taking Futureplay’s worldwide playerbase to over 100 million people.

The viral success of Battlelands Royale demanded the team changed its priorities.

The viral success of Battlelands Royale demanded the team changed its priorities.

Away from releasing new games, there was an opportunity to leverage the growing Battlelands Royale community and focus on building live-ops to keep the game fresh, its players engaged and the KPIs trending upwards.

At the same time, Futureplay’s flagship title Idle Farming Empire (originally Farm Away!) was experiencing a resurgence at the top of the idle gaming charts, becoming one of the key games in a genre that was (and still is) rapidly growing.

With that came a change in focus. Futureplay shifted from the studio that had promised to ship multiple games per year to a studio that had the firepower to experiment with life as a games-as-a-service company.

And that means that 2019 will be the first year without a new Futureplay game hitting the market.

What’s next?

Of course, it doesn’t mean the team has totally neglected developing new concepts.

Now it’s grown to 35 people there’s plenty of capacity for new ideas - something which the studio encourages in company-wide prototyping weeks.

But up to now - and with the shift in focus that 2019 brought with it - the timing hasn’t been right to continue developing those concepts.

This autumn however, Futureplay has sent an exciting new project into production, and is preparing to do the same with the prototypes it believes will be a good fit for the market heading into next year.

It sets the stage for a 2020 that takes the company back to the future - back to a less weird time, where Futureplay does ship multiple games per year, and doesn’t spend multiple years per game.

Except there’s just one major difference.

Futureplay will be bigger, better and much more dangerous, with the learnings from a wealth of new lessons that are sure to stand them in even better stead regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.