Flaregames on becoming a boutique publisher and taking Fieldrunners F2P

Next chapter in TD game series will be out in 2015

Flaregames on becoming a boutique publisher and taking Fieldrunners F2P

Following its first big global success in the shape of Royal Revolt 2  - read our Making Of here - and a $12.2 million funding round, German developer flaregames is ready to take on the world.

Indeed, it's ready to become a publisher and take on the world.

The company has just announced that it's signed a publishing deal with US outfit Subatomic Studios to co-develop a new free-to-play game in the popular tower defence Fieldrunners  universe. The game is due for release in 2015.

In the meantime, we caught up with flaregames' CEO Klaas Kersting to ask why Fieldrunners  and why he thinks flaregames has the skills to become a successful publisher.

Pocket Gamer: Being a publisher is very different to being a developer. Why do you want to make the change and why do you think you will make a good job of it?

Klaas Kersting: We’ve been a developer from the start. In 2012 we also started to be a publisher - for our own games at first.

But we also made baby steps into real publishing, with Keen Flare, which went from a joint venture to a fully owned subsidiary. And with Word On HD  by Huckleberry, where we essentially redesigned the game together with the developer.

We’re very selective about the games we want to publish.
Klaas Kersting

So we’ve learned from our mistakes and successes, and built expertise and publishing infrastructure. And we noticed that the model so many publisher employ is broken: they are all about distribution. But to make a game successful these days much more is needed: tracking, monetization, quality assurance, localization, user acquisition, et cetera.

We have built this infrastructure for our games, we hired very good personnel, we iterated all our publishing processes - and now we feel that we’re strong enough to let others participate.

And we mean that: we don’t have tools for our games and tools for external games - we eat our own dog food and we treat all games as equal.

What excites you about Fieldrunners? Isn't it a rather old brand now?

Both Fieldrunners  games were a great and very polished experience that millions of users bought and enjoyed - many of us flare gamers among them.

There’s an extremely dedicated audience of players, with still several hundreds of thousands of daily actives.

Fieldrunners defined the tower defence genre for iOS

But that’s only a part of it.

More important is that Subatomic is a great studio, able to produce fun games with high production values. We want to combine this competence in game making with our expertise in all things publishing to create a bigger pie for everyone. And, of course, a great game.

What can you say about how Fieldrunners  will be updated in this new version?

It’s still early in development, so we can’t say much. We promise to stay true to the brand and help create a fun game that both hardcore fans of the two original games, as well as new players, will love.

How many more published games should we expect to see flaregames releasing and what genres are you particularly interested in?

We’ll do the boutique approach. We’re very selective about the games we want to publish. We’re looking for studios with a good track record who have proven to understand mobile gaming.

We do not presume to know everything but we are good with mid-core games, with strategy games, with RTSs and RPGs.

Also we’re providing very elaborate support for each of our developers, from a dedicated producer for every game to individual contact persons in monetization, QA, UA, PR, localization and the other fields.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.