“2021 in video games” with Guillaume Jamet from Plug In Digital

We will join for another episode of the series “2021 in Video Games” Guillaume Jamet, Vice-President and Head of Publication at Plug In Digital.

Plug In Digital is one of the largest independent video game distributors. The company also operates as a video game publisher with two separate labels: Dear Villagers, built around a restricted editorial line on PC and console, and PID Games, calibrated for flexible publishing and co-publishing offerings across all. platforms.

Guillaume Jamet Publishing Manager, Plug In Digital (Dear Villagers and PID Games)

How has 2021 dealt with Plug In Digital?

2021 treated us well, actually. The global situation is still very dire and we miss being able to see our partners as much as we would like, but commercially we have had a great year.

On the publishing side, our two labels, Dear villagers and PID games, continued to grow as fast as we hoped.

Dear Villagers released four new games including the incredible The forgotten city which is set to hopefully receive plenty of GOTYs and other awards. We have also successfully released two DLCs for The keep of Naheulbeuk, our first game with a long tail strategy around a potential franchise. We are very happy with the results and there is more to come. Some of our games, however, haven’t performed as well as we would have liked, but that’s the publisher’s life, right?

PID Games has released over 15 games on PC, console and mobile, including Alba: a wildlife adventure. It is a good illustration of what we intend to do with this label, which is to entirely publish small independent games but also to co-publish ambitious titles with big partners like ustwo games.

And on the mothership side, with Plug In Digital, we continued to perform very well with our distribution services. We have signed new partnerships with key players like SNK and strengthened our position as a leading content provider for cloud platforms around the world.

Last but not least, we just raised $ 75 million. This is of course the culmination of 2021 and it is a great reward and an accelerator for our strategy for the coming years.

What development or trend that you saw in 2021 do you see as critical for your niche?

On the publishing side, we noticed two trends that we had to adapt to. The first is a real inflation of gaming budgets. The studios are looking for a lot more money than before, for quite similar projects. I would say that a project that would have been presented to us with a budget of $ 600,000 two years ago is now launched with funding of $ 1 million or more needed. The studios are becoming more professional, even the youngest, and are reaching more comfortable production budgets. It will be a good trend if the production and quality of the final games improves accordingly.

The other trend is that some market players are in a sort of buying frenzy. Many studios have been bought out in recent months and many of our partner studios are in demand and are sometimes offered crazy sums to join large groups.

There is a lot of money for our business as Covid has turned the video game industry into a new El Dorado for investors. We benefit, of course, when it comes to our own fundraising. On the other hand, it also means new competition that we have to face when trying to build long term relationships with studios, which we intend to do. We have always planned to acquire a few studios in overtime, but this new context forces us to move a little earlier than planned.

As a business, what will you be strategically focusing on in 2022?

We want to accelerate our growth, and that means finding the best games possible. So our strategic goal, in terms of release, will probably be to proactively seek to fill our lineup for the next 5 years with cool games.

But even before that, we have some great releases planned for 2022 on both labels. We will strive to offer our partner studios the best support on the road to success. And we will also work to develop our audience and the notoriety of our brand.

What third-party titles were you personally excited about as a player?

I’m a big boy CIV fan and as such I expected a lot from HUMANITY. I didn’t find the time to play it as much as I wanted, but the few nights I spent there were worth it! Amplitude did an amazing job and really brought a breath of fresh air to the genre.

On a more indie side, I fell in love with Dorfromantik. The perfect game to relax after a long day at work (or during lunch breaks!). It’s cute and smart, my very personal GOTY for sure.

And finally, I probably spent too much time playing Savage rift on the mobile. I was a huge League of Legends fan, but I have forbidden myself to approach it in recent years. I kind of went back to this mobile version!

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