After the closure of some of Australia's biggest game development studios last year, a lot of developers decided to go indie. Among those marching towards independence was the marketing director of THQ and Blue Tongue Studios, Chris Wright. We wrote about his new project back in October, and now we're pleased to announce that Surprise Attack is operating commercially.
For those who missed our first story about Surprise Attack, it's a company that Wright started on his own to help indie developers and their studios market their games. It is very much a marketing service by indies, for indies. Wright told Kotaku back in October that while many developers are skilled game makers, they're not necessarily specialists in marketing. As someone with years of experience marketing games for THQ and Blue Tongue, Wright decided to put his expertise to good use, first by starting up Surprise Attack, then by running a beta period where he created marketing campaigns for indie studios free of charge.
The beta period has now ended and Surprise Attack has signed to work with 12 Australian development teams, with 25 games expected to launch this year.
“One of our key learnings from the beta was that there is huge demand for the kind of services we offer,” says Wright.
“We spoke with around 50 developers during the beta period. A common trend was that they know they need help with marketing their games but a great many don't want to sign up with a publisher — they want to build their studio brand and have more control over the marketing.
“That's where an agency such as Surprise Attack can really work for these teams — we provide scale, expertise and connections but the developer is always in control and always comes first.”
The 12 studios that have signed up include: Tin Man Games, The Voxel Agents, Kumobius, PlaySide Studios, League of Geeks, Ignition Studios, Millipede Creative Development, Initials, SmallGreenHill, Stephan Schutze, Brickman and one unannounced studio.
You may recognise the names of a few studios in that list! Among them are studios born from closures such as PlaySide Studios, who are run by a group of ex-EA Visceral Games developers, but there are also some new teams that have started from scratch and more established teams whose games you may have already played.
This is a fantastic initiative and we cannot wait to see the games that these studios are working on.