Paul Gouge and Alex Rigby have been working in the gaming industry for many years. In 1999, they founded BattleMail together, three years later they opened Rockpool Games, and eight years later — Playdemic. Now they have announced the launch of a new studio. It's called ForthStar Games.
What is known about her:
- The studio is based in Manchester and operates in a four-day format. Now there are 14 people on her staff, all from Playdemic;
- ForthStar Games will make free—to-play mobile games aimed at a massive and mostly male audience - "the same as Golf Clash." The developers plan to present the debut game in 2025. They are not ready to share the details yet, but it is known that this will not be a sports game.;
- ForthStar Games is going to actively use artificial intelligence-based technologies. As Gouge and Rigby point out, they decided to do this not to replace people, but to speed up and improve processes.;
- The studio has already attracted the first investments. She received $10 million from venture capital firm Griffin Gaming Partners.
In an interview with MCV/Develop, Gouge said that he and Rigby decided to open another studio because they love game development and consider themselves experienced enough to create decent products. They admit that the mobile gaming market is very tough right now, but they think they can handle the problems.
"Of course, we are aware of the market conditions. But in the 24 years we've been working on games, we've seen a lot of different periods that have followed each other. If you look at what is happening closely, then 2023-2024 will not seem like a good time for mobile games. If you look at it more broadly, it turns out that in reality mobile is still the largest gaming platform. In 2023, $107 billion was spent on mobile games. All the data shows that people spend more time on their mobile phones than ever before," Guzh explained. "Bringing mobile games to market has never been easy. If you look through a telescope in which everything looks big, it will scare you away. We will work for the long term."
Gouge added that ForthStar Games is going to follow the same approach as Supercell: thoroughly test games and "kill" unsuccessful ones. In an interview with GamesIndustry, Gouge noted that there was a similar practice in Playdemic, but it was not taken too seriously there.
"We are in an incredibly competitive market. There is no point in bringing something to market if you are not sure that the project will achieve high levels of engagement and retention, and will also be interesting to the audience for many years," he said.
Recall that since 2021, Playdemic has been a part of Electronic Arts. At that time, the deal between the companies was one of the largest in the gaming industry — the purchase of Playdemic cost Electronic Arts $1.4 billion. According to the analytical platform AppMagic, the main hit of Playdemic golf simulator Golf Clash has earned $860 million with 67.8 million downloads to date.