Debbie Bestwick on Team17 and big events still being relevant

How has Team17 changed since you branched out into publishing?

Publishing is a small part of what we do as a games label. Four years ago, we set out that we wanted to build a new type of publisher unlike what we had experienced as a developer ourselves. This was about games developers working together to help each other. Not just publishing but helping folks build new IP, build new studios, helping enhance the production qualities and much, much more.

I’m delighted how far we’ve come in such a short period. We’re gamers as much as developers, creative partners or label owners. We are incredibly passionate teamsters.

We have increased to over 130 staff in 2018, growing internal functions across all departments and adding exciting new ones such as our Usability Lab for focus testing.

What kind of value does an event like E3 have for the company?

North America is a significant market globally, as we all know, and while we do realise that E3 has evolved beyond being a just a trade show (and will continue to evolve, I’m sure), it still holds value for us both in product and corporate communications and for business development purposes. It’s great to represent the creative work of our label partners in front of the US media in one location and build upon our existing relations with them as they are a geographically bit more spread out than here in the UK.

Are the big events still relevant as a publisher in a world where people can share their games with Youtube or even Twitter in an instant?

Events such as E3 still offer publishers of all sizes and shapes a communications platform in building hype and momentum for any given game and it’s still really about how they are best utilised. We don’t believe it’s an “either/or” scenario and Youtube and Twitter can play a complementary role in these instances as well as being used for specific community or influencer activities elsewhere in the run up to a game’s launch and beyond.

What are Team17’s future plans for the US? Will your American presence expand?

We’ve put a lot of time and hard work in building our label presence out in the US in recent years on several fronts, particularly with end customers and the development community at events such as GDC. We’ve had a great response from the PAX and SXSW attendees who not only recognise us for Worms, but for The Escapists, Overcooked and the other great games on our label!

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