Could you tell us a bit about your company and what it does?
Gregan Dunn, director of publishing, Hothead Games: Hothead Games is Canada's largest independent game publisher. Founded back in 2006, when our Hotheads barely had cold feet, our goal was nothing less than total world domination.
We are constantly on the lookout for exceptional developers who are looking for a publisher to help make their next great game a massive success.
We have published multiple award-winning and top-grossing mobile games, including the Big Win Sports and Kill Shot franchises, and Hero Hunters, 2018’s most successful new IP launch on mobile.
Our games have collectively achieved more than 300 million downloads across multiple categories on iTunes and Google Play.
What have been the biggest developments for the company in 2018?
The most exciting news coming from Hothead is that we've just announced that we have finally opened up our publishing expertise to third-party developers that need support from a publisher to make their great mobile games a success in the market.
Hothead has built a publishing infrastructure to support our internally developed games and we know first-hand how complex it is to develop, publish and support a live ops mobile game.
The company has every skill set required to make a mobile game a success based on our experience with our own games. We are immensely excited to use our expertise to support up-and-coming developers and help them achieve the success they deserve.
The company is currently accepting submissions and offering financial assistance for games in various stages of development that will benefit from Hothead’s expertise in analytics, marketing, monetisation and gameplay mechanics.
In such a competitive games industry, how do you make sure you stand out and offer something unique?
Hothead has always managed to find a way to add our own unique twist to games over the years, and we've developed effective marketing strategies to make sure that our games get noticed in the marketplace. We have a long history of standing out as one of the more unique game publishers.
From our early days publishing on console making memorable RPGs like Penny Arcade Adventures and Deathspank through to our long history publishing on mobile making unique and successful franchises like Big Win Sports, Kill Shot and most recently Hero Hunters, which just won a Google Play 2018 Most Innovative Game award.
No great game is complete without a supporting cast of in-house teams, including:
- Marketing, which has become proficient at developing optimised store assets, acquiring users at scale and cost efficiently
- Analytics. We have our own proprietary analytics pipeline and platform which we share with our developers
- Data science. Who knew you'd need a few people with Masters in math and statistics to be successful in the games business?
- Quality assurance. No game is fun when you hit killer bugs
- Player support. Gamers are demanding and it's great to have some front line people to handle their concerns
What are your plans heading into 2019?
Our goal for 2019 is to find a select number of exceptional external developers that we can bring under our wings, and help make their games far bigger successes than they could have achieved on their own.
In an increasingly competitive market, it’s impossible for mobile game developers to have all the necessary support teams in house.
Successfully publishing a game is a tremendous effort and requires a lot of bandwidth; Hothead has 55 employees in publishing-focused roles to handle all the tasks we’ve identified as mission-critical to a game’s success in the market.
Incidentally, we have an additional 85 employees focused on our internally developed games, notably Kill Shot Bravo, Hero Hunters and Forged Fantasy.
We are excited about helping others with the skills and expertise that we’ve developed over the past several years we’ve been focused purely on mobile (we switched over to an exclusively mobile-focused studio back in 2011).