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Deep Silver “much better” than big publishers because it turns a profit

Wednesday, 10th April 2013 23:18 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Deep Silver boss Geoff Mulligan has said that the Koch media-owned publisher is doing much better than big, triple-A publishers because it actually makes money.

“People say, ‘Oh, you acquired Volition and Metro, you’re going to be a triple-A publisher. What separates us from a triple-A publisher is that I don’t really have a desire to be a triple-A publisher,” the COO said in the May print edition of GameInformer, via Videogamer.

“I actually think we’re much better than the Activisions, EAs, and Ubisofts of the world. People say, ‘What do you mean? They are valued at three billion dollars.’ I say the difference is that we make money.”

Deep Silver has been publishing games since 2002 and has hundreds of titles to its name, but really came into the spotlight after the sudden, runaway success of Dead Island in 2011. Now, it’s something of a weel known name, having picked up 4A Games and Volition Inc in THQ’s collapse.

“With the acquisition of Metro and Saints Row, it allows us to, again, go from strength to strength. But do I want to hire 500 people and build a world headquarters? That’s not what we do – nor is it what we need to do,” Mulligan said.

“I firmly believe that you do not need a giant organization anymore. That’s what’s killing so many publishers. The moment you don’t have a giant, triple-A hit, your overhead absolutely eats you alive. What do you do if this big, triple-A game didn’t hit? You’ve got to ship another one very quickly and hope that one does.”

Deep Silver is part of a privately-held company, and does not have to answer to investors. The executive said this allows the smaller, more agile company to react quickly to shifts in the industry.

“We’re a publisher that, in a difficult and rapidly evolving marketplace, uses guerilla tactics. We move quickly and we don’t have a public board of directors to answer to. We like what we do and have fun,” he said.

“That’s important. You go to some of these companies – you probably have good friends at some of these companies. You go hang out with them, and they are miserable or they are frightened. I think our people are having a really good time.”

Mulligan said Deep Silver didn’t know Dead Island would be such a hit, and credits its success to luck and good marketing that larger companies wouldn’t try. The sequel, Dead Island: Riptide, is headed to PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in late April.

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5 Comments

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  1. Lengendaryboss

    Better than EA and Activision, anyone is better than those two devils. Ubisoft i am not so sure, Far Cry 3 is whats providing that doubt. I am not sure if they are much better than the big publishers because i haven’t purchased any of their games, i may get SR4 cheap/used provided if i have any money in August, but its up for consideration or most likely a rental. But I will be looking into SR4, it is one of those many games that is up for consideration.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. YoungZer0

    Pretty ballsy statement to make. Not sure how I should feel about that.

    “Deep Silver is part of a privately-held company, and does not have to answer to investors. The executive said this allows the smaller, more agile company to react quickly to shifts in the industry.

    “We’re a publisher that, in a difficult and rapidly evolving marketplace, uses guerilla tactics. We move quickly and we don’t have a public board of directors to answer to. We like what we do and have fun,” he said.”

    That sounds really good though.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Phoenixblight

    Its too bad their games are as interesting as cardboard. Dead Island being a prime example that game was oblivion in a Z-day environment with co op. Not mention the game had far more game breaking bugs than EA and Activision games as of late. I lost 4 hours because of the game saying it was saving when it infact was not then horrible frame rate drops.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. malethief

    The point he’s making is the development costs they have to produce a game aren’t as high as the other Triple A companies with their larger titles. Thus there profits are higher and allow them to stay afloat as a company. However they did have a buggy dead island release as well as call of juarez the cartel so I wouldn’t brag much if I was him though I do get the point of his statement.

    Either way small companies can exist and do quite well for themselves also. Look at Atlus, NIS, and Xseeds for example. They make great titles for a niche market and turn out a quick profit by only printing limited amounts of their titles to recoup the costs

    #4 1 year ago
  5. sh4dow

    I’m all for a lot of things he said but if a company with a model like that only releases subpar games, then I still won’t like it. Profit or not.

    Besides, if a profit doesn’t even translate into good working conditions (and a friend who worked at Deep Silver in the past didn’t have anything good to say about Koch), then you have a company releasing subpar games made by people who produce them under shitty conditions. The only good thing left is the profit for people like the Kochs. And is that really “good”?

    #5 1 year ago