Koch Media’s Deep Silver made its mark last year with console titles like Saints Row IV and Metro: Last Light. But now the German game publisher is expanding into mobile games to take advantage of gaming’s fastest-growing category.
In 2013, Koch Media’s Deep Silver acquired mobile game developer Fishlabs, a Hamburg, Germany-based studio with 52 developers, to expand into mobile. That division is at work on Deep Silver’s first mobile games.
In addition, Bavaria-based Deep Silver announced its first PC-only free-to-play online game, Dead Island: Epidemic. The title is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game where three human teams of four players each battle it out to hoard supplies while simultaneously fighting off hordes of zombies.
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Klemens Kundratitz, president and CEO of Koch Media/Deep Silver International, said in an interview with GamesBeat that the company has ambitions to become a global publisher of both console and mobile games.
“We are convinced the console business will continue to have strong growth ahead,” Kundratitz said. “We are staying in that space, but we see our audience of core gamers is spending an increasing amount of time on mobile devices. It’s only logical to move into mobile.”
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He added, “You have to recognize that entertainment on mobile devices has to be built around the amount of time that gamers can dedicate to the device. You can’t just port console games over and expect them to play for hours and hours.”
Koch Media now has multiple brands that resonate with gamers and can be extended beyond the living room. The company has more than 700 employees, including more than 250 internal game developers.
“We intend to prove that franchises like Dead Island can succeed on different platforms,” Kundratitz said. “For us, this is the year of free-to-play and mobile.”
Dead Island, a zombie console and PC game published in 2011, was the company’s biggest breakout success on an international scale. It followed that with the Dead Island: Riptide game in 2013, as well as Killer is Dead, Metro: Last Light, and Saints Row IV.
Then Koch Media acquired several assets of bankrupt THQ last year, including the Metro and Saints Row franchises, and THQ’s developer Volition. It also owns the rights to the Sacred and Risen franchises. It expects to release more information about its upcoming console titles at this year’s E3.
Koch Media was founded by Kundratitz and Franz Koch about 20 years ago, first as a software company and then an independent publisher of games in Europe and North America. With the THQ deal, Koch Media increased its foothold in the North American games market.
As for trends, Kundratitz said, “It is very interesting to watch this indie gaming trend. There is a lot of innovation happening in this sector, and there is an opportunity for co-publishing deals. As a company, we can learn to play very different roles.”