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12th April 2019
A Breakdown of Tero Virtala's "The Transformation of Remedy Entertainment" Talk at Reboot Develop Blue

Yesterday, Tero Virtala (CEO at Remedy) took to the BongFish Stage at Reboot Develop Blue, to talk about the organisation transformation happening at Remedy. We took some notes on his presentation as it was being live-streamed via the event's Twitch channel. This is what we found out:

Strengths and Weaknesses. In his presentation, Virtala discussed how the studio reevaluated the company's strengths and weaknesses following the release of Quantum Break.  He states that while the games that the studio creates "are not going to appeal to everyone" there was definitely an audience for the content. He also stated that he believes that Remedy is a company which looks after its developers and an aspect which he hopes will continue particularly as they proceed into phase two of their transformation.

Phase One of The Studio's Transformation. Phase one of the transformation spans between 2016 - 2019. As the studio began preparations for the office-wide shift, management interviewed thirty internal developers and made plans based on employee interest and areas highlighted for potential improvements. They looked at their one-project and one-partner system, in addition to the uncertainties and risks brought on by game delays, and particularly how they needed to adapt to the ever-growing number of employees at the studio.

As they looked into the future of the company, they also looked at market changes and conductive extensive research into the gaming market.

Using the internal interviews and the market research, they began establishing goals for the studio. For the initial phase of the transformation, Remedy highlighted where they wanted to be; they wanted to continue to develop ambitious AAA experiences of IPs that they controlled (which Virtala later described as "big screen games for gamers"), but with faster production times. They also wanted to move into a multi-project studio set up and ensure that there's a positive working atmosphere across the departments. While they have taken on developing a single player campaign for Smilegate, they also don't want to be purely "work for hire", with an increased desire to own the IPs for other projects. They broke down the success of the company in three steps: 1) creating games that stand out, 2) developed by a multi-project studio and 3) ensure that the company has a stronger position in the value chain.

2017-2018. Between 2017-2018, they began establishing the main part of the studio transformation. Development on CROSSFIRE 2 overlapped the end of Quantum Break's development, and by mid-2016, they had also begun work on Control. In 2018, they announced that a third game project was in the concept stage, and they also revealed the newly created Vanguard team. Throughout all of this, Remedy continued work on their in-house engine, Northlight. Organisation within the company was also redefined with a reevaluation and clarification over individual roles, project organisation, and an overhaul of the recruitment process, and a new HR approach.

During this time, Remedy also joined NASDAQ First North, raising approximately €13 million. They also established a new board, set up new stock options, and relocated to a new office which provided additional space for the growing development teams

Phase Two. Phase two is predicted to take between two to three years to build and will focus on creating long-lasting game experiences for IPs that the studio will own, in addition to focusing on its talent and its community. They also want to investigate the potential of self-publishing, allowing them to the choice to publish independently or collaborate with publishers.

Control. For Control, there were approximately 100 developers working the project during a three-year development cycle. The game led to the creation of the second development team (the other being the CROSSFIRE team) and focused on creating a title with "longer gameplay" and with a "sensible budget and scope". The work on the game has also pushed Northlight further, and the capabilities of the in-house engine.

Composer. Near the end of the lecture, Tero showcased a new video announcing Control's composers; Petri Alanko (Alan Wake, Quantum Break) and Martin Stig Andersen (INSIDE, Shadow of the Tomb Raider). The full developer diary will be released closer to the launch and will explore the game's music in more depth. You can catch the full teaser below:


Formerly "Vanguard"

The Crossfire Series

The Control Series

The Quantum Break Series

The Alan Wake Series

The Max Payne Series



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