Aonic co-founder Olliver Heins: “We aren't just looking for the next cash-generating game, we aim to create real value."

Aonic recently became shareholders of game studio Milky Tea which is gearing up for big announcements this year

 Aonic co-founder Olliver Heins: “We aren't just looking for the next cash-generating game, we aim to create real value."

In a recent interview we spoke with Milky Tea CEO Jonathan Holmes on what to expect next from the studio and changes that are happening after being recently acquired by gaming group Aonic.

In this interview we speak with Aonic’s Co-founder Olliver Heins on how that partnership came about and how Aonic plans to support the studio to see it reach its full potential. Needless to say we also touch on what other studios should consider when looking to be acquired… Could you tell us a little about what makes Aonic gaming group different and about your work as a publisher?

Olliver Heins: We aren't just a publisher, we are a fully committed partner with shared ownership. We aren't just looking for the next cash-generating game, we aim to create real value within our studios. Many other publishers sign ten games with the knowledge that they only can support half of them properly and let some of them down before release. We will always give every game the right focus and support it needs to succeed to increase its real value.

Aonic has a focus on smaller to mid-sized studios. Why is this?

The best games have been created by small teams before they got buried under the pressure of running a commercial business. We want to enable these great creative teams to keep their creative spirit and focus on what they do best—creating games. This is something you can see over all platforms in the market. Big studios always have a huge layer of politics and too many people who want to have a say in the final product.

We recently saw Aonic become a majority owner of Milky Tea, what attracted you to the studio?

I have known Johnny for many years and always admired his passion for games and the products he worked on. I have seen over our chats that Milky Tea is one of the studios with great potential, but maybe it needs some help to unleash this potential. It was a great fit from day one.

At Aonic, we are always keen to sign companies where we know we will also have a great time working together. It is key for us that we create a collective where the culture can grow into something amazing and therefore we must get the right founders on board.

What are the goals behind this partnership?

This is very simple. We want to be successful together but keep the creative freedom for iterations and learning. We want to create a partnership where everyone can grow and learn but can also be open about things. It is important to be able to talk freely when things aren't going well to turn them in the right direction.

What advice would you offer studios who are perhaps looking to be acquired?

Be honest about the reasons and realistic about the price you are asking for. Many people think it's over after they sell their company, but this is not the case, so founders must be open to change before they think of selling their Studio.

What can we expect to see from Aonic for the rest of 2023?

There will be a big announcement later this year...


Deputy Editor

Paige is the Deputy Editor on who, in the past, has worked in games journalism covering new releases, reviews and news. Coming from a multimedia background, she has dabbled in video editing, photography, graphic and web design! If she's not writing about the games industry, she can probably be found working through her ever-growing game backlog or buried in a good book.