Why invest in Dundee? The story of Outplay Entertainment.
Founded in 2010, Outplay Entertainment is the largest independent mobile developer in the UK. With an exciting pipeline of future titles in development and continued growth on their existing games, Outplay pour their passion and creativity into producing high quality games for their players. Their mission: “to deliver fun, free mobile games you’ll love”.
After co-founding two of the largest console developers worldwide – The Collective and Foundation 9 Entertainment – Scotsmen Douglas and Richard Hare decided to leave California to focus on a new venture back home. Their idea was to create Outplay Entertainment: a mobile game developer which would target the growing market for on-the-move, social and online gaming. With support from the Scottish Government, the Hare brothers were able to turn their aspirations into reality, creating a new and exciting online gaming experience from their new studio location in Dundee.
Dundee’s reputation as an innovative gaming centre was a key factor in the Hare brother’s decision to re-locate. With a number of growing projects in the city, Dundee’s forward-thinking, creative character made it a perfect fit for this digital brand. As explained by Lena Wilson, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise:
Outplay's decision to invest in Scotland demonstrates the real capabilities we have within the digital media and games sector, particularly in Dundee, and is further proof that we can compete with the best at a global level.
Scottish Enterprise were a great help in the funding of the project, introducing the founders to potential investors and offering them a Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant to aid their initial set-up in April 2011.
(Outplay set-up their Dundee studio in 2011. The company now has around 150 employees.)
What’s more, the diversity and cultural beauty that Scotland has to offer, allowed the founders to really bring their company to life. Discussing their decision to re-locate to Scotland, Douglas stated:
not only did we invest in the launch of games, we invested in people
With approximately 150 talented employees from over 20 countries, the Outplay team incorporates an array of nationalities. The open-armed, warm character that Scotland shows towards people worldwide provides a strong, multi-skilled workforce that allows local business to thrive. As the Hare brothers quickly recognised – immigration is key to innovation.
In 2016, Outplay decided to take their Dundee based brand further afield, acquiring their Derby based mobile free-to-play studio - Eight Pixels Square. This acquisition has been key to Outplay’s growth and games portfolio, particularly with their massive success Sniper Strike about to reach 20million downloads alone. Discussing the company’s decision to expand, Douglas Hare said:
The acquisition of Eight Pixels Square is another exciting step forward for the business, as we not only solidify capabilities in mid-core and VR, but also get to work with long-time industry peers
Eight years on from their launch, with ongoing support from the Scottish Government, an innovative approach and hard-work, Outplay has taken the UK gaming scene by storm. Releasing multiple critically and commercially successful titles, they have become one of Europe’s leading developers. Successfully reaching over 100 million downloads and rising, millions of avid game players are able to enjoy their products each month.
With substantial investment over the last decade, it is clear that Dundee is set to be at the cutting edge of modern creative industries and Outplay is a prime example of the city’s overall potential.