Dundee-based game studio Outplay Entertainment has been ranked as Scotland’s fastest-growing tech company on Deloitte’s 20th annual Technology Fast 50, based upon the companies which have demonstrated the strongest growth over the last four years.
One of only two Scottish names on the list, Outplay placed 11th overall with a recorded business growth of 1,904% over the four year period. The other Scotland-based nominee, B2B mobile/data services firm Exsel Group, placed 27th, with a recorded growth rate of 959% over the same period.
Outplay is the creator of numerous smartphone games including Angry Birds POP!, Mystery Match, Booty Quest, and Castle Creeps TD. Co-founders, Douglas and Richard Hare, formed the company in 2011 after noticing a gap in the mobile gaming market for indie titles. “I was convinced that was where the action was going to be,” Hare told Deloitte.
Four months after, the first round of funding for Outplay had already been secured. “We then opened our doors in April 2011 and within six months had assembled a team of 30 people and launched our first game,” said Hare. “And then the real learning and hard work started.”
According to Deloitte, mobile games differ from standard releases in that they can continue to grow years after launch. “It’s a strange business model, with a very long tail,” Hare told Deloitte. “We have six games now, and the ones that are three years old are having their best revenue years yet.
“It took us over five years to reach profitability which is not uncommon for VC-backed businesses, but was psychologically challenging for Richard and me.”
Hare added: “We started small and built on our initial success. We’re very bullish about the future and, after two years of double-digit growth, 2017 has been another exciting period for the company. Picking up the Fast 50 Scottish award is further proof that we’re heading in the right direction.”
Garry Tetley, Private Markets Partner at Deloitte Scotland, said: “Outplay Entertainment is a great example of the new kind of entrepreneurial business emerging in Scotland – international, focussed on technology, and ambitious. The company featuring so prominently in the 20th edition of the Fast 50 is also a further vote of confidence in Dundee’s burgeoning games industry. The team deserves a huge congratulations for what it’s achieved in such little time.”