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George Perkins on growing Super Rare Games from pet project to successful physical Switch publisher

Every month, we pick the brain of an up-and-coming talent. This month’s Rising Star is George Perkins, ‘head of doing stuff’ at Nintendo Switch publisher and distributor Super Rare Games. He talks about the company’s difficult beginnings and how it turned into exponential growth.

How did you break into games?
I left school after my A-Levels and my plan was always to take a gap year. By coincidence, porting house Warp Digital had just formed in South London. From about 7am to 3pm everyday, I would help out with whatever they needed. This started off as QA help and any office admin: responding to any random emails, organising Christmas parties, showing new staff around and so on. Anyway, this progressed nicely and I slowly worked my way up. I was there for about 18 months and by the time I left I was a full blown associate producer. I then left to be part of Super Rare Games and have been growing the business for the last 14 months!

What is your proudest achievement so far?
Being able to grow Super Rare Games from a pet project, to being one of the largest physical Switch publishers. If I were to narrow that down further, I’m very proud to having been part of some massive projects. The three that jump out are Human: Fall Flat, Worms: W.M.D and Snake Pass. The three respective publishers of those games (Curve Digital, Team 17 and Sumo Digital) are probably three of the biggest in England, and it’s amazing to have worked with them on physical versions of their games.

What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
The first few months of Super Rare were difficult. We had only sold about 800 copies of our first two releases and signing content was difficult because of that. At that point, I was unsure about whether we were going to be able to sustain the business. Fast forward a year, and we have released 14 games and they are all completely sold out. Through perseverance and a lot of hard work, we managed to really grow and develop our brand. It’s been exponential growth for the last eight months or so, and our audience is now so much bigger than I ever would have imagined. Getting through that initial period was very important for us and we haven’t looked back since!

 

“The first few months were difficult. We had only sold about 800 copies of our first two releases.”

 

What do you enjoy most about your job?
How diverse it is! I tried to write my job specification the other day and its near impossible. I love being in a small company as there is so much different stuff to get involved in. I do all the biz dev, marketing, social media, production, influencer outreach and website stuff, to name a few.

The other amazing thing about my job is the fact that I get to work with so many talented indie teams. We have worked on 14 games, and each one is made by a different developer. It’s so exciting to get to know the teams behind some of the best games on the Nintendo Switch.

What’s your big ambition in games?
Definitely the end goal will be to be involved in an indie game from start to end. I love publishing games physically, but I would love to be on the other side of that one day! Seeing the amazing games coming out of so many talented studios makes me want to be involved in that side of things in the future.

What advice would you give to someone starting a new games industry business from scratch?
I think to be successful in a new business, you need to have a strong team with different experiences and skill sets. I am lucky enough to work with an incredible group of people who are amazing at what they do. The shipping, customer service, artwork and the finance/general admin tasks are all vital to our success and the rest of the team are stunning at delivering those services.

Alongside that, you have to have to live and breath what you do. Every second I spend on Super Rare, I enjoy it! Everyday I wake up excited to go to work and you need that passion to start something fresh.

If there’s a rising star at your company, contact Marie Dealessandri at marie.dealessandri@biz-media.co.uk

About Marie Dealessandri

Marie Dealessandri is MCV’s senior staff writer, having joined the publication during its days as a weekly magazine. After testing the waters of the film industry in France and being a radio host and reporter in Canada, she settled for the games industry in London in 2015. She can be found (very) occasionally tweeting @mariedeal, usually on a loop about Baldur’s Gate, Hollow Knight and the Dead Cells soundtrack.

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