With this publication, we end the "Results 2020" cycle, in which, together with top managers and experts from the gaming industry (and related ones), we summed up the results of last year. The latest material is an interview with Alek Pakulski, Vice PresidentKool Things, a Polish company specializing in gaming PR.
How was 2020 for the company?
2020 is certainly not an ordinary year. But despite the constant uncertainty and very rapid changes in legislation, and the marketing agency Kool Things, and the development studioKool2Play ended the year with record business figures. Thanks to this, we were able to double the number of employees in both companies in just 12 months.
We have launched two new divisions. The first is responsible for the art, the second for the marketing of games. The latter's task is to help consumer brands reach the gaming audience and establish cooperation with gaming companies. In addition, we have raised funds for Uragun, our debut PC game. The funds were allocated by independent investors and structures. We also initiated a $700,000 software project, which in the future will be able to help us make business decisions by providing valuable analytical data.
At the same time, 2020 left behind problems related to the remote management of the company. This includes the need to introduce new internal regulations in communication, and concerns about the mental health of colleagues. We are planning experiments with online integration and online parties. We also plan to play more with each other.
What new trends in your niche do you consider worth paying attention to?
The gaming industry has proven its worth in such difficult times. As a result, we are seeing a significant increase in interest in gaming among private and institutional investors. In such circumstances, it has become much easier to launch a gaming company or find financing for the idea of a game than it was, say, a couple of years ago. Unlike other events, COVID-19 affects all inhabitants of the world equally, and not any particular country or region. I believe that the crisis that has occurred will bring more variety to the games. I'm really looking forward to it.
What new market trends would you note in general?
There were so many of them… Anyway, if we do not talk about the ongoing pandemic, I would separately note the growing popularity of cooperative games. It is no surprise to anyone that video games today are a way of communication and interaction for people isolated from each other by strict rules or, which is also common, the fear of visiting public places. Of course, video calls and the like are also in place, but isn't solving problems together in some fantasy world more fun? I look forward to new research and scientific debates on this topic, as now is the best time to discuss the positive effects of gaming on health and socialization during COVID—19.
What will be the stake in the development of the company in 2021?
First of all, we will focus on developing our own automation and analytics service, which will help employees make better decisions and save them thousands of working hours spent on routine research. After conducting internal tests, we plan to offer the software to our customers. We will start selling it fully in the last quarter of 2021. In addition, our commercial group plans to conduct an IPO on the alternative stock exchange NewConnect in the first quarter. This will soon be followed by the premiere of our Uragun game.
What games did you pay attention to as a gamer in 2020?
There were a lot of great releases that year, but Ghostrunner and Crusader Kings III really hooked me. I usually spend most of my playing time on multiplayer projects. However, I found myself delighted with the difficulty — completely different in each case — of these two games. But if I had to choose which game to take with me to a desert island this year, most likely that game would be Crusader Kings III.