Feature : Irish Dev Scene
Featured Studio : Open Emotion Studio’s
Date 28th Nov 2011
Open Emotion Studios are very much the leading lights in the Irish video game developers scene and as such a fitting start to our week. With an impressive back catalogue of games already released on the market, and the accolades to back them up including awards from Pocket Gamer and PSPMInis.com as well as a whole host of impressive review scores from the harshest of critics.
Set up in 2010 by three friends Paddy Murphy, Colm English and Mike Naughton after the three guys decided that with a lifelong love affair with gaming and the requisite skills to produce a game, it seemed only natural that they would be able to do this for a living but not without putting in a lot of hard work.
I guess everything started with Mad Blocker, a free to play browser flash game that generated revenue through sponsorship and advertising that would be displayed around it. The game proved a massive hit registering over 2 million plays. This gave the team the encouragement they needed to keep going and they quickly followed up with a series of other flash games including Mad Jigga and Abstract Differences in early 2010.
Their big breaks then started coming in mid 2010, when MTV/Nickelodeon’s addicting game division bought their fourth game Goldies Revenge which went on to record a massive 7 million plays worldwide and has been translated into Chinese and Russian. This roused the interest of Sony and after receiving an enthusiastic response from Sony London, Open Emotion set about developing two titles for the PSP Mini’s market.
Mad Blocker Alpha a new twist on the game that started it all and Ninjamurai went into simultaneous development and both games went on to receive both critical and commercial success winning a whole host of top marks and awards. Revoltin’ Youth was the last game released by the studio only a few months ago and again was very warmly received, particularly in the USA.
While it sounds like their fully deserved success has come quite easily to the team that certainly wasn’t the case. In the first year of operating they had to work without paying themselves a wage and if it hadn’t been for the financial backing of two Limerick business men they may not have made it.
After their initial success along came some wonderful support from Enterprise Ireland in the form of the Competitive Start Fund. Since then they have been able to hire some extra staff, take on a number of interns from various colleges and opened a brand new office in Dublin in September 2011.
A recent deal with a large Swedish publisher has meant that the team can now start looking at much bigger projects. They have recently started advertising for even more staff as their rapid expansion to world domination continues.
Every time Open Emotion release a new game tit has gone on to impress us, each time they take on a new project they like to challenge themselves rarely staying in their comfort zone for too long. The next step is firmly underway and is the biggest step forward the studio has ever taken and big things are certainly on the way for the studio.
Read our Interview with CEO of Open Emotion Paddy Murphy later this afternoon all part of our feature week on the Irish Developer Scene.