So what of the next 25 years?
Since The Producers first opened its doors, the Mastertronic Group has gathered a very loyal team. For MD?Andy Payne, it is these people that will keep the company on track for the next quarter of a century.
“I’m not sure I can guarantee I will be here for another 25 years,” he jokes. “We have a great team of people who understand the company’s DNA and philosophy and can take the company forward when I am no longer around. The key thing is to always adapt. Nothing lasts forever and if you are not relevant to your customers, it’s game over.”
While boxed product will continue to be important to the Group, its growing downloads offering will obviously be crucial to its future. Mastertronic not only plans to raise awareness of Get Games, but is also establishing itself on other platforms.
“We have been working on our digital strategy for nine years, but so many people still think we are just starting out,” says Payne.
“We will continue the transition to digital without forgetting our boxed goods sales potential. We now sell games on PC, mobile and console via digital channels such as XBLA.
“We expect double-digit growth over the next five years and will look to work with sister companies in mobile and free-to-play, as well as in the crowd-funding space. There is one huge deal in the pipeline which, if it comes off, will put us in a superb position for the future.”
"We've been working on our digital strategy for years,
but people think we are just starting out."
Andy Payne, Mastertronic
Mastertronic is also constantly reviewing its major labels plans. It recently retired the PC Gamer Presents and MAD ranges, believing them to be less relevant to today’s gamers.
“We are focusing on Mastertronic Games, Sold Out, Just Flight, Just Trains, Get Games and Great Indie Games,” explains Payne.
“We will continue to build gradually and ensure that each label has its own team. Other firms I’m involved with, such as AppyNation and Gambitious, may well work with Mastertronic closely in future. If it is the right thing to do, it will happen.”
The company is also exploring new opportunities for its brands. With Microsoft no longer making its own Flight Simulator products, there is room for Just Flight to work more closely with FS rival X-Plane.
And given the rising prominence of digital indie games over the past few years, Mastertronic expects big things for one of its newest labels.
“We are working with more and more developers for Great Indie Games – no matter what the format or platform,” says Payne.
“This is no different from the early days of The Producers. We helped publishers and developers get their games to market back then as a service provider. It’s come full circle. We’ve been here before and I have personally been waiting for this time to come around again.”
Indeed, the Mastertronic Group of the future aims to stay true to the company’s origins and everything it has learned over the past 25 years.
Payne says: “We are a service company – always have been. If a publisher or developer wants help with their sales and distribution, we are there to help – no matter what the format, retail or digital.”
You can read our full celebration of Mastertronic's 25th Anniversary in the latest issue of MCV.