We continue to summarize the results of 2021 together with top managers and experts of the gaming industry (and related ones). Next up is an interview with Alexey Izotov and Alexander Prokhorov, heads of publishing and development at GODD.How did 2021 go for the company?

Last year, the two largest studios inside MY.GAMES merged into one. We are talking about GOD — a publisher operating all MY.GAMES client projects — and Allods Team developing large client projects of its own. The new studio became known as GODD (Global Operating and Development Department).

Alexey: The year 2021 was very interesting and at the same time difficult. If it were simple, it would not be so interesting. We were actively preparing for the launch of our new World War 3 project, which we developed with the Polish team The Farm 51. Together with our colleagues, we conducted a huge number of tests, studies, and prepared for the launch of a closed beta test.

I note that the niche of shooters in general is competitive and complex. The audience of such games is very selective, because in addition to our projects, there are many others. On the other hand, the competitive environment always keeps you in good shape and allows you to focus on the main aspects of the project.

In addition, we have been actively working on several new products in 2021. I won’t talk about them yet, but I’ll hint that there will be some big announcements later.

Also, we did not forget about the already running games. The development of such products is always a challenge for any developer and publisher. It is necessary to constantly figure out how to make it so that players are interested in the game for years. But everything is working out for us. A number of “adult” products continue to grow and show excellent results year by year.

And of course Warface, my favorite project. This year was definitely not easy for him. Our development team has changed, and it is very difficult to do this on a product with a ten-year legacy. Respect to the partners from Allods Team — everything turned out cool, and we are not going to stop there.

Alexander: As for the Allods Team, the year 2021 was also difficult for us and at the same time very interesting. At the moment, we are simultaneously developing four unannounced projects, and we have three more games in operation and development. The size of the smallest development team is 14 people, and the largest is more than 100. And here I’m talking only about internal employees, since we actively use outsourcing on every project.

The most difficult thing we did in 2021 was to simultaneously build up teams in two key areas:

  • full transfer of the development of the Warface franchise on all platforms (PC, Play Station, Xbox, Nintendo Switch) inside Allods Team;the movement is in full swing for the release of a new project, the announcement of which is planned in 2022.
  • Now we have the largest and strongest internal team working on this project — more than 100 developers, although we started with 20. We actively involve foreign specialists in this development, from art direction to narrative.Also at the end of the year, we launched our Blast Brigade vs game for early PC access.

the Evil Legion of Dr. Cread. This is an adventurous 2D action game that combines platformer elements, metroidvania-style world exploration and dynamic shootouts. In fact, for us it was an experiment in terms of both genre and art.

What event or trend of 2021 do you consider central within your niche?

Alexey: In my opinion, there are several such trends. These are NFT, metaverses (where without them), and the subsequent popularization of games.

About NFT, probably, only the lazy one is not talking now. This is a very fashionable topic, but at the moment it is very ambiguous. It is important to understand that NFT is a tool. Interest in it means one thing — the perception of games is changing, people want to get something more tangible in return for the time / money they invested in the game. Now that the project is being closed, the player, in fact, remains with nothing — the server has been turned off, and this is the end of the story of the game. But everything goes to the fact that a person will be able to exchange something (a token or something similar) at auctions, exchanges, trading platforms for goods in other projects or for real money. Of course, this is a gray area for now, but I am sure that after some time the situation will change. NFT clearly indicates that there is a trend towards this.

Metaverses are the second trend. Again indicating that the world of games is changing. More and more processes lead to the merging of genres, universes, brands.

Both of these trends mean one thing — games have not just taken a firm place in people’s lives (and overtook the film industry in revenue, for example), but also continued to become more and more popular pastime.

Alexander: It doesn‘t seem that the pandemic and related restrictions had the strongest effect on the entire industry. In 2021, people were actively playing games. Moreover, both on mobile devices and on PCs and consoles. And it did not depend on the country — about the same situation was observed everywhere.

There is also a widespread trend of combining games into one ecosystem. For example, the maximum possible multiplatformity or at least cross-platform. Or the movement of B2P games towards game as a service, when the player, after buying the game, actively continues to buy new content already in the game itself.

In addition, there are now a huge number of investments on the market that are actively pouring into the fashionable gaming industry — from profile and non-core investors. This led to the creation of a huge number of new studios and teams over the past year. And of course they consist of already relatively experienced developers of existing studios.

If we talk about the most significant trend of the past year for Allods Team, then it is the difficulties with finding strong specialists that have appeared. Good and experienced employees, as a rule, do not agree to move to another company only for a good salary (although salaries in the industry are growing), but prefer to choose tasks and directions that are interesting for them.

I would also like to note that we have noticeably increased the number of players from non-Russian-speaking countries. First of all, this is due to the growth of our foreign audience on consoles. This has led to the fact that in many projects we have become much more active in attracting foreign specialists to the development, and fully integrating them into the internal team. In the new year, we plan to further increase the number of such employees.

What will be the stake in the development of the company in 2022?

Alexey: In 2022, we will try to reach as many audiences as possible in the shooter segment. If you like a PvP shooter, you come to us, if you like a PvE shooter, you come to us, if you like something dynamic and about entertainment, you come to us too. In addition, we intend to actively look at other genres, but it’s too early to talk about this yet.

Alexander: We have big plans for the growth and development of the entire development team. Now we have about 260 developers working for us. In the new year we want to hire at least 80 more people and thereby strengthen all our fresh projects. We hired almost 70 people in 2021, and I am sure that despite the difficulties with hiring in the market, we will cope with this task.

We are also planning to launch a new game in 2022. In addition, Blast Brigade will have a full-fledged release on PC and consoles in the spring.

In addition, in 2022 we will continue to actively develop our two new projects. We have been working on them for about a year, and now they are at the Vertical Slice stage. And, of course, we will develop titles that have already been launched and are available to players — first of all, the Warface franchise.

In general, I am sure that the trend of 2022 will be a multiple increase in the size of teams. Because in order to continue to hold the attention of the modern player, it is necessary to create and release more and more features and content per unit of time and constantly entertain the player.