Skip to main content

Darling's new studio Kwalee plans developer collaborations

Smartphone market attracted Codemasters co-founder back to games business

David Darling's new studio Kwalee is looking to collaborate on and release games with other UK talent.

Previously co-founder of UK publisher Codemasters, Darling told that his previous experience with the release of more than 400 games puts the studio at an advantage during a time when marketing is equally important as game quality.

"We're going to be putting a lot of effort into publishing and marketing, building brands and getting global awareness as we grow the company," he said.

"Over the last 25 years I've probably been involved in 400-plus games that have been developed and published so you start getting a feel for what customers are going to like and what's going to sell.

"Being first to market and really pushing those products with marketing is key - I really like how we can use technology for marketing and things can become viral and spread around the world very quickly so there's an opportunity to build brands and grow the company very quickly."

If you create really high-quality products then you're dealing directly with the customers and your reputation spreads. If you do something bad people won't buy it.

David Darling, Kwalee

Darling is hoping to attract UK studios or individuals that have high-quality content but may be struggling to push product under the noses of consumers in a digital market full of throwaway downloads and instant gratification.

"At the moment we're recruiting for our own development team and that will grow quickly over the next few months. But we also want to work with external studios, so anybody that's got a game or app that they think is good but can be polished or made better or just needs marketing behind it then we'll work with other teams and developers," he offered.

Speaking on his return to the games business after selling his share in Codemasters, Darling said he missed growing a company, and he sees many similarities to when he first began his career in the 1980s.

"I missed growing a business and being involved in technology. I was attracted to the smartphone market because it's like having a really powerful computer in your pocket. There's so many uses for it, it's always exciting if you're creative and innovative, there's tonnes of apps come out that make use of that.

"I like the business model as well, because if you create really high-quality products then you're dealing directly with the customers and your reputation spreads. If you do something bad people won't buy it. From a creative point of view you get rewarded when people enjoy your products.

He added: "When we started back in the 80's, in some ways it's similar. We were doing 8-bit budget games and they only took a few weeks to code and if they were really good they would sell hundreds of thousands of units. The smartphone market is the same in that regard, although you can sell tens of millions of units and its good value pricing for the customers. Product can be developed in a few months."

Read this next

Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
Related topics