Creative Assembly: Refocus at Sega is exciting for us
Brand director Rob Bartholomew on how publisher is dedicating itself to "crown jewel IPs"
As UK developer The Creative Assembly launches the latest instalment of it's hugely successful strategy series Total War, Rob Bartholomew, brand director, has explained why the recent Sega changes are actually a good thing for its core IPs.
"It's a tight family at Sega, so any talk of restructuring and refocusing is always a difficult time in any business and we're always kind of mindful of that," he told GamesIndustry International.
"We're already seeing evidence of that improved support, that idea of really getting behind those IPs and really making the most of them"
"But as a studio we're growing to beyond 200 people at the moment and we're still hiring, and we're still looking to expand and we've got a number of really intense and interesting products on the horizon, both Total War and non-Total War and the refocussing at Sega on the distinct brand IPs, whether that's Sports Interactive or Sonic or Aliens or Total War itself is really exciting for us as a studio, because we're already seeing evidence of that improved support, that idea of really getting behind those IPs and really making the most of them."
He explained that evidence could be seen in his role, which is currently building up Creative Assembly's own internal PR and marketing team, which is still growing, and "underlines the dedication to well resourcing the crown jewel IPs that Sega has."
He also explained that the search for the top talent had lead it to focus on bringing back some of the UK talent that has been tempted away by overseas opportunities.
"One of our big aims for recruitment moving forward is to try to talk to those British guys who have moved abroad in pursuit of work with super developers, Canadian super studios, things like that, and maybe they're not finding that those jobs are all they're cracked up to be and being just another cog in the machines isn't as rewarding as it should be," he said.
"I think in the British games industry, there's a lot of myths and hearsay about moving back to the UK or moving to the UK if you're based in another country, that it's very hard to to get in, it's quite difficult, the pay might not be all it's cracked up to be. And a lot of communication out of our HR and hiring guys is that that's just not the case and we can pay extremely well for the right candidate, and we can make the transition back to the UK as smooth and as easy as possible."
Total War: Rome II is due for release in 2013, and represents the latest in an awarding winning series that started with Shogun: Total War in 2000. Not that everyone always recognises its success, said Bartholomew.
"We are in the unique position of being a really big developer on the UK scene, if not one of the biggest development houses in Europe. We're certainly up there in the top ten, and we find that people take us for granted a bit really, 'oh Creative Assembly, another 90+ games, that's great news.' So it's actually quite challenging to push ourselves forward and get people to take notice of us and kind of say 'yeah, we are actually a pretty big deal.'"
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