We continue to summarize the results of 2020 together with top managers and experts of the gaming industry (and related ones). Next up is an interview withKonstantin Kolodezny, CBDO of SunStrike.
How was 2020 for the company?
As for everyone, 2020 has become a very unusual year for us. The new reality and new challenges forced the team to rebuild its internal processes and its attitude towards them. We decided not to risk people's health, so now remote work is mandatory for almost everyone at SunStrike. Since the end of March, 99% of employees have been working from home and it is unclear how long this will last. Fortunately, the efficiency of work has not decreased, but even increased in some aspects.
In 2020, we increased the size of the team, increased capacity and expertise in art outsourcing and QA, game design and level design. We have also been actively developing the full-cycle development direction throughout the year. In terms of revenue, the company has fully fulfilled the goals set for 2020.
So, although this year was not easy, it turned out to be a success for our studio.
What new trends in your niche do you consider worth paying attention to?
Undoubtedly, the main trend in the market is remote work. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, we were skeptical about the work of employees outside the office. But the changed reality forced us to adapt to this format. It turned out that the high awareness of the team and well-developed internal processes allow the company to be effective and "remotely".
Having accepted the new reality and realizing that we coped with this challenge perfectly, we came to the idea that now we can hire employees not only from those regions in which our offices are located (St. Petersburg, Ivanovo, Novosibirsk).
The practice turned out to be very successful. Now our team consists of artists, modellers, testers and developers from almost two dozen different cities of Russia, as well as from other countries.
What new market trends would you note in general?
The universal transition to work from home, along with the unavailability of many familiar entertainment, gave a strong impetus to the entire gaming industry. This situation turned out to be favorable not only for developers and publishers, but also for the outsourcing market. Most of our customers have increased their domestic production and orders with us, and many have launched new projects.
It seems to me that the industry developed even more rapidly in 2020 than in 2019. Therefore, there is a large shortage of personnel: now specialists are needed more than ever before. Fortunately, the market for professional courses in the field of game development has also grown significantly. In the next year or two, this will give a large number of young people who will be ready to start their way in the industry.
What will be the stake in the development of the company in 2021?
The same as before — to increase the quantity and quality of our services. In the coming year, we will continue to help our customers develop complex and interesting projects.
Next year, our game development business will continue to grow. As a company, we would like to be associated in the market with a full development cycle, and not just with art and testing.
We also plan to continue to increase our teams in all our areas.
Which third-party game releases are you interested in? Which ones did you pay attention to as a gamer?
I was really looking forward to the release of Warcraft III: Reforged, being a big fan of Blizzard games. Despite the scandal surrounding the release and a lot of angry reviews, I liked the restart, I completed the game in a couple of weekends.
Ubisoft has pleased Assassin's Creed Valhalla. In my opinion, the Scandinavian setting suited the series very well.
Of course, I also want to mention Cyberpunk 2077.