Soedesco’s Venture: From selling game bundles to indie hits

Today, Soedesco is an up and coming indie publisher, but this is a relatively new business for the company.

The firm opened its doors in 2001 and until recently was publishing game and accessories bundles. For example, it was behind a Resident Evil 4 and Light Gun bundle for the Wii.

But now the Netherlands-based company is making a name for itself in the indie publishing space.

It was an easier transition than you might think,” executive manager Hans van Brakel tells MCV.

We had experience in doing the distribution of games-related products. It doesn’t really matter whether you are selling an indie title or selling a bundle to a distributor or a retailer.

But we wanted to do something different, we needed to because the market is changing fast and we had to grow and change with it. So we decided to start off by bringing indie titles to retail.”

The firm began publishing digital releases, like Rain Games’ Teslagrad, at physical retail. But Soedesco is also working on its own franchises, like adventure game series Adam’s Venture. The company purchased that IP from Dutch developer Vertigo Games last year.

We wanted to do a variety of different projects,” van Brakel says.

We don’t want to be only dependant on indies that want to work with us – if they all say they don’t want to work with us for one reason or another, then we have nothing. So we want to have a base that is our own IP, such as Adam’s Venture, and grow that project and really build a franchise that gamers can recognise.

We’re gamers as well, we love indie titles. So if the opportunity is right, we will work with indies and bring them to retail both physically and digitally. That’s something that will never go away for us.”

Soedesco is not alone in the indie publishing space. There are a growing number of companies looking to assist the burgeoning indie development scene.

In the UK we have the likes of Team 17 and Curve Digital, for example. But van Brakel says that Soedesco offers something unique from these other publishers.

We all have our own taste in games and our own style of working,” he explains. But in general, there aren’t that many publishers that do both the physical and digital sides well when it comes to indie games.

Building an indie game costs 200,000, 300,000, maybe even more. That title is sold at 14.99. If you purely look at the simple calculations, making back a game’s budget for 14.99 per unit, it’s crazy. Developers also need to pay a little bit here, a little bit there. That’s a crazy business model. We are capable of covering a huge amount of risk for the developer with the retail market.”

Soedesco is offering developers the ‘usual’ publishing services, such as PR and marketing support. But the company is also focused on making its games global, and not just for English-speaking territories.

We are setting up full marketing and PR campaigns, we are working hard on expanding our online presence in general, we’re working with YouTubers and Twitch streamers – those are going to be very important channels over the coming years,” van Brakel says.

We’re also offering QA and localisation. This is becoming more and more important – we don’t want to bring out any game that is only English. There’s such a large part of the planet that doesn’t speak English, so only launching a game in that language is not smart.”

And, reflecting on 2015 and looking to 2016, van Brakel is optimistic about what the future holds for Soedesco.

Last year was a starting year. We entered the market in a good way, it went well,” he says. For this year, we are growing. We want to launch more projects and want those projects to reach a bigger audience. We have a significant presence in both retail and digital and we want to expand on that.

And, of course, we want to sign more cool titles.”

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