Sold Out is lining up a couple of big physical releases, with boxed versions of Jurrassic World: Evolution, from Frontier Developments, hitting retail in a few days and Rebellion’s Strange Brigade coming later in the summer. We talk to Sarah Hoeksma, Sold Out’s marketing director, about recent changes at the company and its busy summer slate.
How’s business going at Sold Out?
Life is pretty good at Sold Out right now. We’ve been growing as a business and since we announced our intentions to move into the digital market alongside the physical market, we’ve made some fantastic progress.
But the one thing that underpins Sold Out is the partners we work with and the work we do together, and that has gone from strength-to-strength this year. We work hard for our partners and that’s why we’re fortunate to have some long-standing relationships with the likes of the immensely talented Rebellion and Team17. We never take those partnerships for granted and work incredibly hard to represent their IP and make sure we’re delivering everything possible for those partners.
And then we have new partnerships which are flourishing, such as with Frontier Games, where we have been asked to look after the physical release of Jurassic World Evolution, which looks set to be a summer smash hit. And also new studios like Toadman Interactive, a talented Swedish studio, who we have forged a strong working relationship with for its debut title Immortal: Unchained, and Hyper Luminal Games up in Scotland who has the most insanely fun multiplayer game, Big Crown Showdown.
As for the future, things are only getting bigger and moving faster at Sold Out. We had a hugely successful GDC and are working through a number of new game signings, which we’ll be excited to tell MCV about very soon..!
You’re going to be part of launching a huge movie franchise with Jurassic World Evolution. How did that come about?
At Sold Out we help our partners in whatever way possible, whether that’s digital or physical distribution, QA, marketing, PR, social media: we’re a full service solution for our partners and we see ourselves as curators when we represent a developer and its IP.
For Jurassic World Evolution, Frontier asked us to help bring the boxed version of the game to retailers around the world and we were only too happy to help.
The opportunity to work on such a fantastic game is why we come to work in the morning, and the team is so excited to help market and sell this game at retail. Frontier has done an amazing job on the title. You only have to look at some of the media coverage to see that this is a great way to bring the franchise to life and build your own Jurassic World.
You also had Strange Brigade from Rebellion at E3. How difficult is it to launch a new IP in today’s market?
It’s never easy to launch a new IP, unless you have something that feels quite unique, fun and challenging – and that’s exactly what Rebellion has with Strange Brigade.
The game has a very distinct flavour to it and that makes our job much easier. The team at Rebellion certainly knows how to create that ‘X’ factor and give a game an instant appeal, and it’s been amazing to see how much fun players have had when going hands-on with the game at shows like E3.
But discoverability is the greatest challenge in today’s market, so you need to help a title stand out. That may be the game itself, the marketing, the personal narrative behind it, the content it deals with… All manner of things.
Once you achieve that it’s about timing your campaign to maximise volume and appeal at exactly the right time – so that’s what we’re working on with Rebellion right now. The game was at E3 and I’m sure everyone who got the chance to come and play it will agree that Strange Brigade has something special about it.