This week’s Publisher Profile sees us having a chat with Eva Gaspar, CEO of Abylight Studios, to talk about what their team can offer to help indies with various aspects of getting their game out to players.
Who are you?
Eva Gaspar, CEO of Abylight Studios: This is a very philosophical question, I will tell you about what have I done and what I like and maybe you will get to know a bit about who I am.
I am a lawyer specialized in Business and IP&IT, business consultant, international speaker, and university teacher. I run a company dedicated to creating video games, developing them, and publishing them. I also run a company that consults other companies about business issues.
I am married and expecting my first child – probably the first and last as it was so tough to get this one. I’m very happy. It’s a girl. Really looking forward to the little game changer :-).
Can you tell us a bit about your company?
Gaspar: Abylight is a 15 year old company founded by veteran developers from Barcelona in 2003. The company started out doing ports and developing for mobile (you know, before phones were smart) games as work for hire. Then, in 2007, the company “got back” to doing console games with a job working on a DS cartridge game. In 2009, we worked on our first self-owned IP, and self-published it.
Fun fact: around 2010, Abylight opened up an office in Japan to be able to publish games there. However, when everything was set up (we had the administration and administrator, a Japanese phone line that rang in our office in Barcelona…), we couldn’t finalize the business because a big company/partner there said we needed an engineer physically in Japan to bring the games to pass QA. That was impossible for us at that moment. After a while, we closed down the delegation.
Now, after getting into developing for Nintendo and publishing, we moved to other platforms like PC, Xbox, Sony (both PSVita and PS4), iOS, and even arcade!
What work do you do to help developers reach an audience? How do you make developers’ lives a little easier?
Gaspar: I like to explain it like this: When we sign with a developer, it’s like the developer “grows” a whole team that is going to take care of a bunch of things: marketing, QA, publishing, adaptations to platforms, relationship with platform owners.
What is it that you’re on the lookout for (genres, content, etc.)?
Gaspar: We look for very good quality games; games that we can feel good dedicating time and effort on. There is no specific genre, but our audience is probably a bit more mature and demanding (as we are).
What do you look for in the games you choose to publish? In the developers you want to work with?
We look for a unique story – for a passion to succeed. We look for creativity and quality in execution. Nobody is perfect, but the kernel of uniqueness and excellence has to be there. If we see a space where we can help, then it is a perfect match.
To us, the genre or type of game is not important as long as the game does something perfectly and in an original way.
Is there anything developers do to make themselves more appealing to publishers? Anything they do that makes them less appealing to publishers?
What is really appealing is having an honest conversation. The publisher/developer relationship before the agreement is signed is like a dance – a courtship if you will. Not all developers are supposed to work with the same publisher, nor are all publishers right for one developer. Finding that perfect match is the hard part.
We are a very slow publisher because we take our time. We have to reject projects, and we get rejected too. But, when we get to work with a developer, we put everything on the line. We give 150%, and we know it’s going to be for a long time, so we feel completely committed to the success of the game.