Creative studios and design agencies are growingly creating their own digital services and products, rather than just creating them for clients in order to feed an insatiable app market. Here you can get advice from some of the best, people who are already making a success at it, such as Strange Thoughts, MPC and ustwo. These two are some of the most successful instances of innovative companies creating their very own and unique commercial digital products by engineering a startup culture amidst their ranks, having recently developed the million-selling game Monument Valley.
According to the CEO of ustwo, Scott Ewings as of now the market is probably the hottest place to be. People who have scars and those who have created digital products are the ones that are most looked for in the world right now. Startups are after them, retailers are after them, banks are after them, everyone wants them and because of that they are now starting their own companies. People who possess those sort of skills are in a huge demand.
In London’s Shoreditch, The Tea Building is currently occupied by more than 100 employees of ustwo UK studio, located in three floors. Apart from that, the company also has sizeable satellite studios in New York and Malmo, with personnel reaching up to 200 people. The company delivers work for corporate giants such as Channel 4 and Barclays, apart from its game products which include Monument Valley and Whale Trail. Scott, the CEO of the company, has previously worked for companies such as Vodafone and Fjord, and he said that during the entire time, the company has been creating digital products.
He explained that they work for a lot of really big corporations. Those corporations are matrixed and big organizations that wish and need to innovate. The majority of the innovation is focused on digital products and digital services. On their side, this innovation leads to organizational change. Our goal is to launch brilliant products and so is theirs, that’s why in order to get a share of that startup action, we have to market the products very quickly.
“Ventures” is a scheme that is used by ustwo that allows employees of the company to express their ideas by providing them with a panel and a way of promoting that idea to the company.
Those ideas might be rewarded with money or not and the same goes for outside individuals who approach the company. The ambitions and dreams of people are equally important as the skills they possess.
For quite some time now, the ustwo have developed Games as just an investment. In order to greenlight things, people work through their own gating process and generate their own ideas. The goal of the company is to prove that developing a game should be all about beauty and craft and creativity and quality rather than just to feed an addiction as the majority of other commercial ventures are aiming to do so.
The larger agencies are not the only ones that have the ability to make their own digital products. Strange Thoughts is a Bristol-based creative agency and has been developing quirky and beautiful projects as well. Among these products is the one called ChallengeOff, which is a picture challenge duel platform where players try to outshine each other using images that are judged by Homer, a mind-controlled beer-pouring robot and other players.
The eminent VFX firm called MPC has also been busy making products from its technology, drawing on talent from its interactive, digital and effects teams in New York and London. For the annual Cannes Advertising festival, their most popular app called Cannesappé was named as the ‘official unofficial’ app.
Version 2 of DataCalc Pro is the latest MPC product, which calculates for each stage of a film project the amount of storage needed, from delivery, post, shoot and pre-production. Chris Vincze, a creative technology consultant once said that the MPC’s data lab originally developed that technology, because MPC needed something on the market which no one had. He added that because of market’s lack of creativity, the app was released. They thought that if they need it so much for their work, then other camera techs and post houses might need it too.
For the first version, they have employed a freelance developed and the app design was produced in-house by MPC. Also, the development of version 2 was produced in-house. Depending on the complexities of the final product, they also take a mixed approach to resourcing, when it comes to our digital teams creating app-based innovative and creative solutions.