Devolver Digital

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Devolver Digital, Inc.
Formerly
GHI Media, LLC
Private
IndustryVideo game industry
FoundedJune 25, 2009; 9 years ago (2009-06-25)
Founders
  • Mike Wilson
  • Harry Miller
  • Rick Stults
  • Nigel Lowrie
  • Graeme Struthers
HeadquartersAustin, Texas, U.S.
Number of locations
2 offices (2017)
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Fork Parker (CFO)
Number of employees
15 (2017)
Divisions
  • Devolver Digital Films
  • Special Reserve Games[1]
SubsidiariesGood Shepherd Entertainment
Websitedevolverdigital.com

Devolver Digital, Inc. is an American video game publisher and film distributor based in Austin, Texas, which is primarily associated with the Serious Sam and Hotline Miami series. The company was founded in June 2009 by Mike Wilson and Harry Miller, previously founders and executives of Gathering of Developers and Gamecock Media Group, alongside Rick Stults, Nigel Lowrie, and Graeme Struthers.

After partnering with developer Croteam for the Serious Sam series, they published their first game, Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, in 2009. Devolver Digital continued publishing Serious Sam related video games, but also started shifting their focus to smaller independent developers. Their first major indie success was Hotline Miami by Dennaton Games in 2012. Alongside the release of Hotline Miami, Devolver Digital opened a second office in London, England, led by Struthers and Andrew Parsons. In 2013, the company opened their film distribution arm, Devolver Digital Films, which aims at helping independent filmmakers by digitally distributing and promoting their work.

History[edit]

Founding and initial development[edit]

Devolver Digital was founded in Austin, Texas by Mike Wilson and Harry Miller.[2] The two had previously co-founded publishing companies Gathering of Developers in 1998, and Gamecock Media Group in 2007.[3] Founding partners were Rick Stults, Nigel Lowrie and Graeme Struthers, previously business partners of Wilson.[4] They announced the company's establishment on June 25, 2009, coinciding with the reveal of their first game, a high-definition remake of Croteam's 2001 game Serious Sam: The First Encounter.[5][6] The First Encounter was originally published through Gathering of Developers, in a deal where Croteam retained the series' intellectual property, using which they chose to co-operate with Devolver Digital.[7][8]

In 2012, Hotline Miami by Dennaton Games became the publisher's breakout hit, solidifying their role within the indie gaming community.[9]

Prior to the release of Serious Sam 3: BFE, Devolver Digital and Croteam experimented with the idea of shifting its focus towards publishing games of smaller independent companies. Using Serious Sam as a test bed, Devolver Digital contracted Mommy's Best Games and Vlambeer for smaller high-concept titles, publishing Serious Sam Double D and Serious Sam: The Random Encounter, respectively. Afterwards, fan-made titles Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack! by Be-Rad Entertainment and Serious Sam: The Greek Encounter by Eric Ruth Games, were taken into the official "indie series" portfolio and also published by Devolver Digital.

Since then, Devolver Digital's breakthrough indie title was Dennaton Games' Hotline Miami. The title went on to receive critical praise, appear on multiple "Best of 2012" lists,[10] sell over 1,700,000 copies, and receive a port to a new engine with OS X, Linux, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita versions inbound.[11]

Expansion into film distribution[edit]

At the South by Southwest Film Festival 2013, Devolver Digital announced that their newly formed film distribution arm, Devolver Digital Films, would be spearheaded by Mike Wilson and Andie Grace, both of which are experienced filmmakers and industry insiders. Citing the lack of support for independent filmmakers at the point of distribution and financial support in production, Devolver Digital Films aimed "to be that much needed second or third wind to truly find an audience for the film at the home stretch and finish line.[12] Employing the same approach to film distribution as with game publishing, Devolver Digital Films' ambition is to "apply that same fiercely creative devotion to indie filmmakers and their projects."[12]

Fictional CFO[edit]

Fork Parker, the alleged chief financial officer of Devolver Digital, is a fictional character who first appeared in a promotional video for Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter on August 18, 2009, where he received a lot of fan acclaim. Due to his increasing popularity, he was turned into an advertisement figure, appearing on press releases and in game credits, as well as receiving his own Twitter account where he promotes Devolver Digital's games and gives critical opinions about current trends or news.[13] Although he is a fictional character, Fork Parker has officially been listed as Devolver Digital's chief financial officer and is treated as such, appearing as an avaricious personality in the form of Easter eggs in various games.[13]

E3 press conferences[edit]

In May 2017, Devolver Digital announced they would be also holding a press conference at E3 2017,[14] but also announced that there won't be any "new game reveals", a deviation from the norm, but instead would feature an appearance of Suda51.[15] The press conference itself turned out to be a satirical 20-minute pre-taped video of a supposed live audience hosted by supposed "Chief Synergy Officer" Nina Struthers (played by actress Mahria Zook)[16], and included Struthers firing a gun into the air, a mock announcement of a new microtransaction method where the customer can literally throw money at the screen to purchase items, as well as an announcement of "Earliest Access", a parody on early access in which players can pre-order games that are yet to be entered into production.[17] The show then ends with Struther's head exploding. The video was directed by Don Thacker, head of Imagos Softworks and developer of Starr Mazer.[16] In the aftermath, the show was called "a meta joke on everyone watching"[18] and "a freaking masterpiece" that "highlighted pretty much everything wrong with AAA gaming".[19]

The joke video idea was repeated in 2018 with Zook reprising her role as Nina Struthers; the show this time introduced on a new item called "Lootboxcoin", a parody of both cryptocurrency and loot boxes; in reality it was a simple plastic coin that had "no actual value", but was available for purchase from the Devolver store for a fluctuating price. The presentation explicitly stated that the coin is not a cryptocurrency, should not be considered currency and warned viewers that they "can’t buy anything with it".[20][21] Also introduced was the "Devolver Digital Entertainment System Classic", in reality a repainted Sega Dreamcast. The show then ended with the gamer who lost his hand in the 2017 show gunning down Struthers, who then, in an homage to the first-person sequence of RoboCop, gets cybernetically augmented.[22]

Games published[edit]

Year Title Developer(s) Platform(s)
2009 Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter Croteam Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
2010 Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter Croteam Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
2011 Serious Sam Double D Mommy's Best Games Microsoft Windows
Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack! Be-Rad Entertainment Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android
Serious Sam: The Random Encounter Vlambeer Microsoft Windows
Serious Sam 3: BFE Croteam Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Android
2012 Serious Sam: The Greek Encounter Eric Ruth Games Microsoft Windows
To-Fu: The Trials of Chi HotGen Microsoft Windows, Android
Spacelings HotGen Microsoft Windows, Android
Hotline Miami Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Android
To-Fu 2 HotGen Microsoft Windows
2013 Serious Sam Double D XXL Mommy's Best Games Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Dungeon Hearts Cube Roots Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS
Shadow Warrior Classic Redux Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
Foul Play Mediatonic Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Shadow Warrior Flying Wild Hog Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior RuneStorm Microsoft Windows
Defense Technica Kuno Interactive Microsoft Windows, macOS
2014 Luftrausers Vlambeer Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Android
Serious Sam Classics: Revolution Microsoft Windows
Always Sometimes Monsters Vagabond Dog Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, iOS, Android
Dungeon Hearts Blitz Tangent iOS, Android
OlliOlli Roll7 Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
Gods Will Be Watching Deconstructeam Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
The Expendabros Free Lives Microsoft Windows, macOS
Hatoful Boyfriend Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, iOS, Android
Heavy Bullets Terri Vellmann Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Sigils of Elohim Croteam Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
Cosmic DJ GL33k Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS
The Talos Principle Croteam Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android, iOS
Fork Parker's Holiday Profit Hike Dodge Roll Microsoft Windows, macOS
2015 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Android
Titan Souls Acid Nerve Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Android
Not a Hero Roll7 Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Android, Nintendo Switch
Ronin Tomasz Wacławek Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Breach & Clear: Deadline Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood Roll7 Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
Dropsy Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
A Fistful of Gun FarmerGnome Microsoft Windows
Broforce Free Lives Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Downwell Moppin Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch
Pathologic Classic HD Microsoft Windows
Noct C3SK Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
2016 #SelfieTennis VRUnicorns Microsoft Windows
Enter the Gungeon Dodge Roll Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
OmniBus Buddy Cops, LLC Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Reigns Nerial Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch
Okhlos Coffee Powered Machine Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Mother Russia Bleeds Le Cartel Studio Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4
Shadow Warrior 2 Flying Wild Hog Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
2017 Stories Untold No Code macOS, Microsoft Windows
Sub Rosa Cryptic Sea Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter Croteam Microsoft Windows, Linux
Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter Croteam Microsoft Windows, Linux
Golf for Workgroups Cryptic Sea Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Spaceplan Jake Hollands Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Strafe Pixel Titans Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4
Block'hood Plethora Project Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Serious Sam's Bogus Detour Crackshell Microsoft Windows, Linux
Gorn Free Lives Microsoft Windows
Absolver Sloclap Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope Croteam Microsoft Windows
Ruiner Reikon Games Microsoft Windows, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
The Talos Principle VR Croteam Microsoft Windows, Linux
Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE Croteam Microsoft Windows, Linux
High Hell Microsoft Windows, macOS
Reigns: Her Majesty Nerial Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch
2018 Genital Jousting Free Lives Microsoft Windows
The Red Strings Club Deconstructeam Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Crossing Souls Fourattic Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Nintendo Switch
Umiro Diceroll Studios Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS, Android
Minit JW, Kitty, Jukio, and Dom Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch
Block'hood VR Microsoft Windows
The Swords of Ditto Onebitbeyond Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4
I Hate Running Backwards Binx Interactive Microsoft Windows, Linux
Scum Gamepires Microsoft Windows
The Messenger Sabotage Studio Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
Reigns: Game of Thrones Nerial Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
Gris Nomada Studio Microsoft Windows, macOS, Nintendo Switch
Ape Out Gabe Cuzzillo Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
Pikuniku Sectordub Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
2019 Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass[23] Croteam TBA
My Friend Pedro DeadToast Entertainment Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
Metal Wolf Chaos XD Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Gato Roboto Doinksoft Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
Weedcraft Inc Poland Vile Monarch Microsoft Windows
Observation No Code Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
TBA Fork Parker's Crunch Out United States Mega Cat Studios Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Eitr Eneme Entertainment Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4
Sometimes Always Monsters Vagabond Dog Microsoft Windows
Gassy Mob Flee Punk iOS, Android
Paradise Never Kitty Lambda Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
The Talos Principle 2[24] Croteam TBA

Games re-released[edit]

Year of re-release Year of original release Title Developer(s) Platform(s)
2010 2001 Serious Sam Classic: The First Encounter Croteam Microsoft Windows
2002 Serious Sam Classic: The Second Encounter Croteam Microsoft Windows
2011 2005 Serious Sam 2 Croteam Microsoft Windows
2013 1997 Shadow Warrior 3D Realms Microsoft Windows, macOS
2006 Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure Microsoft Windows
2015 2014 Breach & Clear Mighty Rabbit Studios Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux

References[edit]

  1. ^ https://www.hardcoregamer.com/2017/05/03/limited-run-and-special-reserve-games-team-up-for-strafe-physical-edition/256270/
  2. ^ Grant, Christopher (June 25, 2009). "Gamecock, Gathering of Developers founders re-emerge as Devolver Digital". Engadget. AOL Tech. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  3. ^ https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/gamecock-co-founders-start-new-publishing-company
  4. ^ https://www.pcgamer.com/how-devolver-digital-is-redefining-videogame-publishing/
  5. ^ https://kotaku.com/5302626/gamecock-resurrected-as-devolver-digital
  6. ^ https://www.shacknews.com/article/59293/gamecock-and-god-vets-return
  7. ^ https://www.vg247.com/2009/06/25/devolver-digital-formed-by-gamecock-god-games-founders/
  8. ^ https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/gamecock-co-founders-start-new-publishing-company
  9. ^ Roberts, David (April 29, 2015). "Digital humanity: how Devolver is the Sub Pop of gaming". GamesRadar. Future plc. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  10. ^ Hamilton, Kirk (January 3, 2013). "Kirk's Top 11 Games Of 2012". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  11. ^ Krupa, Daniel (February 19, 2013). "Hotline Miami Coming to PS3 and PS Vita". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  12. ^ a b Chiullan, Moisés (March 7, 2013). "SXSW: Videogame Developer/Publisher Devolver Digital Adds a Film Distribution Arm!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Newman, Heather (December 1, 2015). "A Very Special Holiday Interview with (fake) Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker". GamesBeat. VentureBeat. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  14. ^ "Devolver Digital E3 2017 Press Conference Confirmed". PlayStation LifeStyle. May 17, 2017.
  15. ^ "Devolver E3 2017 Won't Have Any New Game Reveals". PlayStation LifeStyle. June 8, 2017.
  16. ^ a b "The story behind Devolver Digital's legendary, ridiculously last-minute 2017 E3 press conference".
  17. ^ "Devolver Digital's Very E3 Press Conference is Very Great Very. – Geek Reply". geekreply.com.
  18. ^ "Devolver Digital Press Conference is a Meta Joke on Everyone Watching". June 11, 2017.
  19. ^ "Devolver Digital Had The Best E3 2017 Press Conference". June 12, 2017.
  20. ^ "Devolver Digital mocks loot boxes and cryptocurrencies with its latest E3 stunt".
  21. ^ "Yes, you can actually buy Devolver Digital's Lootboxcoin".
  22. ^ "Devolver Digital E3 2018: Press Conference Recap". techraptor.net.
  23. ^ Singletary, Charles Jr. (June 22, 2018). "Serious Sam 4 Interview: First Encounters of the Badass Kind". Shacknews.
  24. ^ O'Connor, Alice (May 20, 2016). "The Talos Principle 2 Discreetly Announced". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved May 20, 2016.

External links[edit]