What was 2023 like for us? The entire game industry suffered a lot during the 2023 post-pandemic, where numbers are no longer hitting an all-time high. Investors became scared of the future of the games industry. This article will talk about not only that but also what the year has been like for us, what we did, what we achieved, and where we intend to go in 2024.
Addressing the 2023 layoffs...
2023 is finally over and that means it's time to look back at what it meant for us. It marked the first entire year after the pandemic, a period of time where the software and game industry was booming, reaching all-time high values on their revenue and sales charts. While many other industries such as restaurants and physical stores were having a rough time, software in general was doing great. Since people didn't get to enjoy much time outside due to social distancing, they instead retreated to indoor activities which usually meant games, books, and movies.
The thing with peaks is that it comes with lows. A record is not usually followed by other records, therefore once the pandemic ended and things went back to normal, the population went back outside, and thus games, books, and movies were no longer the most used thing. Investors became scared as the industry as a whole was, from their point of view, shrinking and devaluating. In fact, it was only normalizing but for anyone who bought stocks, that meant that they lost money.
Because of this and the ever-growing inflation, money became expensive, and therefore receiving investments became quite a challenge. Several game studios had to resort to layoffs as projects got canceled due to lack of funding. Luckily we did avoid layoffs.
A Light in the Dark
Even with all of the challenges of this year, we did get to grow our revenue and reduce our costs making our studio a more profitable place. It was only a reflection of our specialization since we are no longer focusing on AAA outsourcing or Advergames but rather are doubling down on mobile and web game development. We started doing porting, liveops, and full-cycle development for publishers and developers and a lot of important doors started opening for us.
Our investments in marketing and sales paid off as we got to be a part of 81 projects this year!
We got to develop a lot on Poikilingo, made a bunch of 3D assets for Dungeon Defenders 2, developed several kids' games for Globo's Giga Gloob, made an incredible Google Earth's Carmen Sandiego-like game for S.I.N Implantes, developed a game for Ford, partnered with Itzy Interactive on Towering Treats, breathed new life into KNN Idioma's Knowa Slide and even got to work with TNT Warner!
Conferences & Travel
This year we got to travel to Europe and visit Gamescom and Devcom Cologne 2023. Devcom was a great experience to learn more and share experiences. Gamescom was quite a surprise, we did not know that there was a conference this big in our industry. We got to meet a lot of great people there, we hope we get to meet them again soon!
BIG Festival which is now Gamescom Latam was also on our list. This one's becoming a yearly thing for us and it is such as great checkpoint. It's been a great way for us to do yearly checkups on a lot of our fellow Brazilian friends and exchange experiences. Since this is an international conference we also get to meet and see a lot of our friends from overseas!
While STUN Game Festival was quite small this year, it was great to see that there are regional conferences near our studio's birthplace.
Luckily we also got to work on internal projects this year and grow our B2C revenue from 4,5% to 18% bringing us even closer to our ideal 50% goal.
We published Speed Box on Kongregate where we were able to receive a ton of feedback and experience firsthand what the new Kong platform is like. Later, we released our steam page for it where we will gather all of the received feedback and improve the overall experience for its official PC release in early 2024.
Idle Hurricane also got a bit of love as it received the "Travel the World" update, completely overhauling the progression system. Later it also received a Halloween and Christmas seasonal update which were both featured on CrazyGames.
Education is another place where we dabbled into where we got to publish Space Lab on the Legends of Learning platform.
We got to work with Totem to bring a lot of concepts to life including the game Outposts which had been on our drawer for quite some time.
While these are some of the highlights, we also got to further test out some of our games like Idle Black Hole which generated over 500K downloads. We tested a bunch of different prototypes and markets this year and hope to jump into 2024 with a more solid grasp on where to focus on next.
While 2023 was a complicated year, we still managed to get the upper hand and not only increase our revenue but also reduce our costs. Our team is stronger than ever and with the experience gathered from working on 81 different projects this year, we're sure that 2024 aims to be an incredible new phase for the studio.