Following its recent acquisition by Toadman Interactive, Antimatter Games is gearing up for unprecedented growth. MD Rich Barham explains what this means for Cornwall’s largest games studio – and why he wouldn’t be based anywhere else.
Released to overwhelmingly positive critical and player reviews, Rising Storm 2: Vietnam was among 2017’s most celebrated online multi-player shooters.
But its developer, the Falmouth-based Antimatter Games (AMG), hasn’t rested on its laurels. Instead, Cornwall’s largest game development studio has negotiated its strategic acquisition by Swedish studio Toadman Interactive – a deal that was completed earlier this summer.
Over the next few years, this will lead to a $5-10 million investment in AMG’s operations and offices.
A potential £30 million boost to the Cornish economy
Such substantial Foreign Direct Investment will clearly have a transformative effect on AMG. But it’ll also have a transformative effect on the local area, bringing jobs, prosperity and growth.
Indeed, AMG’s acquisition has the potential to deliver over £30 million in added value to the Cornish economy. “We are pleased to see Antimatter Games expand its UK footprint,” says Bjorn Axelsson, Senior Investment Adviser at the Department for International Trade in Sweden, “This shows the strength of the UK’s creative industries and is a testament to the attractiveness of Cornwall as a region.”
A new era for Antimatter Games
For AMG itself, the acquisition means an opportunity to substantially expand its team while drawing on Toadman Interactive’s deep expertise in games industry marketing and business development.
But, as Managing Director Rich Barham explains, there’s a more profound reason AMG is thrilled to belong to its new parent company.
“Being owned by Toadman Interactive means we can build games based on our own IP, with full artistic control. And that’s a vital step on our way to becoming a world-renowned studio.”
Building a world-class game development studio in Cornwall
Barham has a track record in delivering exactly this kind of success story; prior to the launch of World of Warcraft, he helped build Blizzard Entertainment Europe from a team of four to a team of over a thousand.
During a career which has also included leadership roles at both Bethesda and Riot Games, Barham has found himself based in LA, Paris and Copenhagen. But he’s always wanted to live in Cornwall, and believes the Southwest of England is an attractive prospect for many in the gaming industry.
“There are a lot of people who don’t want to spend two hours a day on the Underground because they can’t afford a house closer to work.” says Barham. “Being in Falmouth, we appeal to those people – experienced industry professionals who are ready for a healthier work/life balance.”
AMG’s commitment to delivering this balance is clear. The company offer flexible working hours and dog-friendly offices – and, as it seeks larger premises in the Falmouth area, it’s looking for a location with the space for a company gym.
Expanding the Antimatter Games team
Since it was founded in 2013, AMG’s focus on employee wellbeing has helped it recruit and retain a 21-strong team, bringing together both industry veterans and enthusiastic young graduates.
To meet its ambitious growth targets, AMG is now hiring once again – in earnest. As it seeks to more than double its headcount over the next 15 months, it will be advertising everything from graduate roles at the living wage, through to senior roles commanding extremely competitive, highly paid salaries.
“We’re looking for people who’ll be a good fit for our culture,” says Barham, “but also people who know that Cornwall is where they want to be, long-term. Antimatter Games has an incredible staff retention rate and we want to ensure it stays that way.”
If you’re interested in applying to AMG – or you know someone else who would be – you can view the company’s current vacancies here.
’83: Bigger, better, and built in Cornwall
The first task for AMG’s expanding team? Make good on its ambition to deliver a game based on its own IP – namely, the ‘cold-war-gone-hot’ themed ’83.
Building on AMG’s deep experience in developing online, multiplayer military shooters, ’83 promises to be the studio’s most expansive and ambitious project to date. The comments on the game’s announcement trailer, which has more than one million aggregated views, reveal the high levels of anticipation already building among fans of the genre.
Drawing on local networks
For any game development studio, it’s not just hiring the right people that’s key – it’s having access to the right infrastructure. “Cornwall’s superfast broadband network has enabled us to stay in the county,” says Barham, “even as our business and our ambitions have grown.”
Today, AMG is also keen to make strong connections of a different kind. “We’d love to drive even greater collaboration within the Cornish technology sector,” says Barham. “We can make experiences and simulations as well as games, and we’re always delighted to hear from local organisations who need our skills.”
If this has made you want to know more about what Cornwall has to offer, please get in touch with the CTI team today.
Whether you’re looking to locate in Cornwall, or to start exporting beyond its borders, get in touch with our friendly team to talk through your needs.