Aardvark Swift Spotlight: 505 Games

Powerhouse publisher 505 Games continues to go from strength to strength with every release. With mammoth titles including Control, Death Stranding, Terraria, Assetto Corsa, and Ghostrunner being just a handful of their expansive arsenal, the studio shows no sign of slowing in their upward trajectory. Aardvark Swift caught up with 505 Games’ director of global community Antonela Pounder to shine a light on the studio’s forward-thinking culture, the growth of the company in recent years, and what they’ve got in store for the foreseeable future.

The foundations for what would become a leading publisher were laid in 2006, with 505 Games being established as a subsidiary of Italian videogame company Digital Bros. With a starting team of just 3 people based in the UK, the company found its feet in publishing casual titles for the likes of the Nintendo DS and the PlayStation 2, taking a portfolio-driven approach, bolstering their back-catalogue and taking a few risks along the way. Before long, the company became a household name with breakthrough blockbusters such as Zumba Fitness, and their spring-boarding title, Cooking Mama.

Now, with well over 200 titles under their belt and a global team of over 250 to boot, the studio is stronger and remains just as close-knit as they were 15 years ago, as Antonela goes on to explain. “There’s a great team spirit within the company itself, now spanning 250 people worldwide in studios based in the UK, Japan, Italy, China, and more”, says Antonela. “We’re a firm believer here at 505 Games in collaboration and open communication; we care a lot about the wellbeing of our staff, and that rings true through all levels of seniority at our studio. Ultimately, we’re a team. We all have the same end goal, and we try to celebrate success where we can.” As their established team continues to grow, so does their scope for bringing in graduate and junior talent. “We are in a positive transition period now where we can start hiring Associates, who can really contribute and learn from those with years of experience – they learn from us, but we learn from them as well,” says Antonela.

“Our Production team has hired associates over the past couple of years, and the Brand team is hiring associate brand managers – I love seeing us go in that direction”. While they have the firepower to play host to AAA titans, that doesn’t mean they’ve forgotten about picking up indie titles for the journey. With the likes of Control and Assetto Corsa being some of the more prolific features in their recent line-up, you may not know that some smaller gems such as Inside/Limbo for Xbox One and PS4, and the mobile edition of Human: Fall Flat are all under 505’s publishing umbrella. “I have worked on smaller titles such as Portal Knights and ABZU, for example”, mentions Antonela. “But I’ve also had the opportunity to lead the social strategy and community engagement on larger scale games such as DEATH STRANDING and Control.”

With major launches, updates, and DLC’s already occupying the front-end of 505’s 2022 timeline, Antonela reflects on what has already been an action-packed year for the studio. “Major game launches include Assetto Corsa Competizione on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S back in February and in March. Also in March, we launched DEATH STRANDING DIRECTOR’S CUT on Steam and the Epic Games Store; these two projects alone have kept us incredibly busy, especially within community management, where launches really kick things off for the team,” says Antonela. “Looking forward, we have an exciting future ahead of us, but of course, my lips are sealed on what that means right now – keep an eye on our official social channels for all our latest news and announcements.”

You can listen to Aardvark Swift’s full conversation with 505 Games’ Antonela Pounder through the Aardvark Swift Podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, third-party apps, and the aswift.com website.

 

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