Passion Drives Rebellion’s CEO More Than Profit
Years ago, the bottom fell out from under AA developers. Indie games and AAA blockbusters were taking over, leaving little room for the mid-tier projects that saw THQ rise to the fore. When THQ shuttered its doors in January 2013, the industry mourned the end of an era, the end of a certain type of game release. Yet, this space in gaming continues to thrive. Of course, it’s most notably evident in THQ Nordic. However, for many, Techland (Dead Island, Dying Light, Call of Juarez) fills this role as well. One company that doesn’t get its due is Rebellion Developments, the folks responsible for the ongoing Sniper Elite series.
But the tactical shooter franchise isn’t all Rebellion has up its sleeve. Publishing is another priority, yet it isn’t an aspect of the business the CEO, Jason Kingsley, deems worthy of bragging rights. In his mind, this is especially true since the business isn’t always driven by profit.
Kingsley opens up about Rebellion’s refusal to outright identify as a publisher during an interview with VG24/7. Currently, Rebellion is publishing Arca’s Path, a VR puzzle game from the makers of PSVR’s London Heist, Dream Reality Interactive. When asked why such a commitment is worth the gamble, Kingsley speaks of the passion behind the decision.
“I played it and thought it was really cool,” Kingsley laughs. “That’s the beginning of a positive business decision for us. We aren’t very analytical. Other people have got business executives and they do all the numbers first, but there’s no point doing those numbers unless you think the game is really good. [Arca’s Path] is very different to what Rebellion does. It’s more of a chillout game. I think of it as a kind of visual poem. It’s quite lyrical and relaxed – you are the controller.
“I just thought it was really good and the team are brilliant to work with. We wouldn’t take on a game unless we thought we could make a profit on it, but it doesn’t have to be a massive profit, it just has to make business sense. I think it will. I’m not running a business to just make profit. A business has to make profit, it has to turnover, we have to get enough money to make the next game, but our motivation is to do cool stuff.”
Considering their 26-year history consists of transitioning from work-for-hire projects to developing their own IP, Kingsley’s belief is certainly steering Rebellion in the right direction.
Arca’s Path doesn’t have a release date, but is coming to PSVR, Oculus Rift, and Steam VR sometime this year.