With 2020 hopefully coming to a close (unless it gets pushed back or something), we have reached out to indie devs and publishers to find out how they fared amid these challenging times. Turns out, pretty well! At least as far as Poland’s 11 bit studios is concerned. Here’s what Konrad Adamczewski, PR Specialist at 11 bit studios, has got to say:
Konrad Adamczewski, PR Specialist at 11 bit studios
How did 2020 treat the company?
The current year is a challenge for everybody, but fortunately, it looks like we will manage to make it out without any major issues. Of course, switching the whole company to remote work, and we’re more than 150 people strong now, was a challenge, but from a time perspective, it looks like our workflow wasn’t affected and the development of our three in-house projects is going according to plan. Also, pandemic held people in homes, they didn’t spend that much money on travels or going out, so they sought home entertainment and that was where the games stepped in. So we will probably end up with 2020 being one of the best years in the company history in terms of sales and revenue.
Any general trends across the video games industry that stand out to you?
The trend that in my opinion stands out is online gaming events. A lot of those emerged due to the lack of traditional trade shows like E3 or Gamescom. We participated in some of them, but those seemed like a double-edged sword. It was great that there were in general more gaming events this year, so the smaller studios had more opportunities to showcase their games that maybe wouldn’t come up in the regular circumstances. But at the same time, a lot of events in my opinion caused boredom among players. There wasn’t one big show, like E3 usually, where all the big players announce their new games and players can celebrate that particular moment. Many events didn’t have any due attention. Also, I believe that the new consoles launch could be even more exciting without the distribution problems caused by the pandemic.
As a company, what are you going to strategically focus on in 2021?
Our internal teams will be further developing three mentioned games that weren’t announced yet, and maybe we will reveal some secrets in 2021. And that is also the case with four projects that are made for our publishing division. On the business side of things, we will continue to grow and plan to hire more people in 2021 across all divisions.
What third-party game releases got your attention this year?
As always I try to at least try playing all the major games that are coming out. And I loved a lot of them. Half-Life: Alyx proved to me that proper gaming in VR is possible, and Ori and the Will of the Wisps was an ideal sequel to the beloved first part, just like Spider-Man: Miles Morales. The Last of Us 2 blew me away with the powerful story, and Ghost of Tsushima, since I love feudal Japan, proved to be one of the most addictive open-world games in recent years. I’ve also enjoyed the tactical action in Desperados III, the biggest surprise for me was the time spent playing Monster Train, and games like Carrion and Spiritfarer were great to play on the go on Nintendo Switch. And I still haven’t had the chance to check out Hades or finish Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla. Of course, I’m looking forward to Cyberpunk 2077 from our colleagues from CD Projekt RED (fun fact: their office is just a few minutes car ride from ours — it’s just around the corner). Overall, it was a very good year for gamers.