Spiral Up Games' CEO Aldric Chang shared how different teams at the company communicate with each other, discussed Spiral Up's most in-demand services, and spoke about the issues of Singapore's game dev market.
My name is Aldric and I am the CEO of Spiral Up Games. Spiral Up is an international game publisher headquartered in Singapore with offices here and in China, with a focus on indie games for PC. I have been in the gaming industry for close to two decades and was invited to co-found and lead Spiral Up Games due to my experience in game development and marketing. I also co-founded and run Mixed Realms, known for making Sairento VR, Gordian Quest, and Hellsweeper VR.
Spiral Up Games
We are 14 men/women strong in Spiral Up and fast growing. The leadership team is situated in Singapore and our publishing team is spread across Singapore and China. There are team members dedicated to marketing, community management, and game project management.
We communicate online and hold regular meetings to keep everyone updated on what’s happening. We discuss key issues like the games that are being submitted for representation, development updates on the games we have signed up for, marketing plans, etc.
3D and Game Dev Market in Singapore
Singapore is a very small country and, consequently, the talent pool is small here. But increasingly there are more and better games coming out of here in recent years. I think the local gaming industry is clearly growing and improving.
An unfortunate observation though is that many developers here are still not able to turn a profit on their games due to the inability to market in-house. This is where game publishers like Spiral Up Games come in. We are not only able to help them market their games internationally, but we are also able to fund their production and give them good advice on how to best finetune their games to make them better.
Spiral Up's Most Popular Services
Funding and marketing are our most in-demand services. It is not easy for an indie company to fully self-fund the development of their games unless they are well capitalized through investors or profits from previously successful games. We can come in to mitigate their risks and help them with their cashflows through financing their project.
We assume the risk and will not hold the game developers liable to pay back if the game is delivered but doesn’t sell well. As for marketing, we are able to come up with a comprehensive marketing plan that provides exposure across important markets like North America, Europe, LATAM countries, and China. If this is done well, there will usually be a spillover effect to the other regions. This helps them ensure strong and steady sales for their games.
Spiral Up's Take on the Future of Game Dev
I speak mainly for indie game developers, as those are the main partners and clientele of Spiral Up Games. I don’t believe that it is necessary that the scale of indie games will keep growing, nor do they need to. What gamers are expecting is the fun factor and replayability.
It doesn’t mean that by making a game bigger, the fun component and replayability can be improved. Rather, I would think that indie studios should focus on building strong and super fun core gameplay that is highly replayable. Then, as the game builds traction and has sold a good number of copies, that is time to think about expandability and making the game bigger through downloadable content.
I think the use of AI tools to automate certain tasks is definitely a good idea, but bear in mind that AI can never replace true creativity. So it is still important to nurture and encourage creative thinking among the team members.
Spiral Up's Roadmap
This year, we have signed on for four games and are looking for more games to represent. A sweet spot would be 7-8 games. Three of the four games are likely to be released into either Early Access or full release in 2023. You will definitely be hearing from us then.
In the meantime, we are still looking for good indie games to represent, so drop us a note on our website.