Tonic Games Group is the new parent company for game development studios Mediatonic and forceand it will monitor the release label The irregular society. This is a sign that the company has moved the gaming grocery chain up and wants to build a broad and sustainable long-term business.
The London-based Tonic Games Group family has around 300 employees who develop games at seven locations around the world. The company has a total of five studios and two publishers and works with third-party studios in 13 countries of its brand family. These groups were previously scattered as separate companies, even though they owned the same.
The new parent company was founded by longtime game developer Dave Bailey, CEO of the Tonic Games Group. and Paul Croft, co-founder and chief games officer. The parent company firmly believes that both the games it creates and the way these games are created have a positive impact, Bailey and Croft said in an interview with GamesBeat.
Your goal is to find new ways to provide original franchise businesses to the 2 billion people who play games today. Croft and Bailey founded Mediatonic in 2005 as a work-for-hire studio. Their first project while studying was a flash game called Snowman Salvage, and they built games for PopCap Games (now owned by EA), Big Fish Games, and PlayFirst. Specialties for live services have been developed which are currently in high demand.
"We have been on an organic journey over the decades, started out small and moved on to bigger games with brands," said Bailey. “We went through this whole process and have now made over 100 games. We wondered where we're going from here. We had seen so much change and so many studios came and went. We didn't want a hand-to-mouth existence. We wanted to pass the test of time. "
They also wanted to work on new games and new mental properties that were their own creations. They wanted a more resilient business.
"We spent about five years like an organism that grows through cell division," said Bailey. "We tried new things. We want to bring everything together in a structure that makes sense and helps us to grow. "
Now Mediatonic has grown into four studios with 230 people producing titles like Gears Pop for Xbox Game Studios and Yahtzee with Buddies for Scopely. Mediatonic has 27 games in active development.
In 2015, they founded The Irregular Corporation, a publisher that publishes third-party games from indie game developers. And in 2018, they launched Fortitude in Guildford, UK to develop original games.
Now companies have a single parent and a clear structure that allows them to create a variety of games, from work-for-hire titles to original games and third party indie titles on any gaming platform. In 2020, two new titles will be released, like Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. And 13 unannounced games are in the works.
With this structure, Bailey said that jobs in the company will be safer. He said that job insecurity is one of the biggest causes of fear among game developers. However, creating a structure that enables the company to make the right decisions about games and allow them to work longer term in the same company will help to alleviate these tensions.
And during the current pandemic, Bailey said the company will support employees with both physical and mental health problems. He said the company has an open culture that allows people to talk about their mental health problems so they can get more professional support.
"If you have a subsidiary, you can start investing in these things," said Bailey.
The Tonic Games Group has a new office in London, but the team is still unable to move in due to the pandemic. The company raised a $ 30 million financing round a year ago and diversified beyond its original business. The companies moved around 35 people to the parent company.
"In a way, what we do is the final step in naming the parent company and showing people what we really do in three companies," said Bailey. "We have a huge pipeline."