Endemol Shine making video games is not entirely new.
The firm, famous for Masterchef, Big Brother and a whole lot more, has been making games for a long time. It’s recently developed titles based on Pointless, Mr Bean and even created its own IP, the ninja brawler Black & White Bushido.
Yet the development of Good Catch, a standalone company owned by Endemol Shine, is new.
There were bits of Endemol doing apps and games but it wasn’t very cohesive,” explains Anil Mistry, the MD of the new outfit. The idea behind Good Catch is to create a standalone game developer and publisher, and bring all those different bits together under one header.
We have been, effectively, a department within Endemol. We’ve done a few things like the Pointless Quiz app and outsourcing a lot of development. But if we want to do this properly, we need to get some investment and a bigger team.”
Good Catch is a standalone entity, with the ability to use Endemol’s brands, but will also remain nimble enough to react to the ever-changing video games market. A corporate structure can be a slow moving beast, for all its advantages, we need to stay agile” says Mistry.
It currently has enough staff to develop two games internally at once, but is hiring so it can expand to handle between four to five projects simultaneously.
The games will be predominantly mobile, but the idea is to build in Unity where possible,” said Mistry. That means we can easily do PC and console ports. Also, if we come up with an idea that we think will work better on consoles or PC, we will target that as the main platform.”
So what games can we expect?
It’s about working with our global brands rather than the local ones – because local ones cost the same but the revenue opportunity is only as big as the territory,” he explains.
We are trying to ignore the older Deal or No Deals and Big Brothers. They’ve still got a place in certain territories, but it’s not what we’re about, we’re about looking forward.
And it’s not just about the brands that we own. It is about creating original IP, too.”
He continues: A good game mechanic has to be at the heart of what we do. From the previous stuff that I’ve done, if you simply stamp your brand on something, it will never work.”
"It’s not just about the brands we own.
It is about creating original IP, too."
Anil Mistry, Endemol Shine
Mistry’s dream is to make new IP that could move to TV.
Our brands are important because user acquisition is hard, and these brands gives us an edge,” he continues. But that’s just 50 per cent of what we’re doing, the other 50 per cent is new IP. The dream would be to make a game that we can then grow beyond games. If we could make a TV show or animation series based on one of our games that would be great. We have the infrastructure around us to do that.”
The short-term aim for Good Catch is to find talent and a head of development. But Mistry has bold ambitions for the long term.
We need to find the right people to hire,” he says. In three or four years time, if we are still a viable entity, I’d like to move into publishing. We don’t have the structure to support that yet. We are being treated like a start-up and acting like one. Although Endemol Shine is our VC – effectively – we have to run ourselves.”