Devolver Digital

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GHI Media, LLC
Devolver Digital
Private
Industry
Founded 2009; 8 years ago (2009)
Founder
Headquarters Austin, Texas, U.S.
Number of locations
2 offices (2015)
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Fork Parker (CFO)
Number of employees
11 (2015)
Divisions Devolver Digital Films
Website devolverdigital.com

GHI Media, LLC, doing business as Devolver Digital, 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 2009 by former Gathering of Developers and Gamecock Media Group executives, Mike Wilson, Harry A. Miller IV, and Rick Stults.[1]

After partnering with developer Croteam for the Serious Sam series, their first published game was Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter in 2009, which was followed by Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter in 2010. 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 Graeme Struthers and Andrew Parsons, to more easily be able to reach out to developers based in Europe, and to keep track of their public relations in Europe. 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.[2]

History[edit]

Devolver Digital was founded by Mike Wilson, Harry A. Miller IV and Rick Stults in Austin, Texas in 2009. The trio had previously co-founded publishing companies Gathering of Developers in 1998, and Gamecock Media Group in 2007.

Upon forming Devolver Digital, they partnered with developers Croteam, and were able obtain the rights to the Serious Sam series from 2K Games through Gathering of Developers. This led to Devolver Digital's first published game, Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, the high-definition remake to the 2001 Serious Sam: The First Encounter.[1]

In 2012, Hotline Miami became the publisher's breakout hit, solidifying their role within the indie gaming community.[3]

Transition to indie game publishing[edit]

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,[4] 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.[5]

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."[2] 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."[2]

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.[6] 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.[6]

E3 2017[edit]

In May 2017, Devolver Digital announced they would be also holding a press conference at E3 2017,[7] but also announced that there won't be any "new game reveals", a deviation from the norm, but instead feature an appearance of Suda51.[8] The press conference itself started with a satirical 20-minute pre-taped video of a supposed live audience, and included a gun being fired 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 player can pre-order games that are yet to be entered into production.[9] In the aftermath, the show was called "a meta joke on everyone watching"[10] and "a freaking masterpiece" that "highlighted pretty much everything wrong with AAA gaming".[11]

Games published[edit]

Year Title Developer(s) Genre(s) Platform(s)
2009 Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter Croteam First-person shooter Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
2010 Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter Croteam First-person shooter Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
Serious Sam HD: Gold Edition Croteam First-person shooter Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
2011 Serious Sam Double D Mommy's Best Games Side-scrolling shooter Microsoft Windows
Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack! Be-Rad Entertainment Platform, action Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android
Serious Sam: The Random Encounter Vlambeer Action role-playing Microsoft Windows
Serious Sam 3: BFE Croteam First-person shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Android
2012 Serious Sam: The Greek Encounter Eric Ruth Games Top-down shooter Microsoft Windows
Hotline Miami Top-down shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Android
2013 Serious Sam Double D XXL Mommy's Best Games Side-scrolling shooter Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360
Duke Nukem 3D: Megaton Edition First-person shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Dungeon Hearts Cube Roots Puzzle, action role-playing Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS
Shadow Warrior Classic Redux First-person shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Foul Play Mediatonic Beat 'em up, action-adventure Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Shadow Warrior Flying Wild Hog First-person shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior RuneStorm Simulation Microsoft Windows
Defense Technica Kuno Interactive Real-time strategy Microsoft Windows, macOS
2014 Luftrausers Vlambeer Shoot 'em up Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, Android
Serious Sam Classics: Revolution First-person shooter Microsoft Windows
Always Sometimes Monsters Vagabond Dog Adventure, role-playing Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
Dungeon Hearts Blitz Tangent Puzzle, action role-playing iOS, Android
OlliOlli Roll7 Sports Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
Gods Will Be Watching Deconstructeam Point-and-click adventure, puzzle Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
The Expendabros Free Lives Run-and-gun platform Microsoft Windows, macOS
Hatoful Boyfriend Nakige, dating sim, otome Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, iOS, Android
Heavy Bullets Terri Vellmann First-person shooter, roguelike Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Sigils of Elohim Croteam Puzzle Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
Cosmic DJ GL33k Rhythm Microsoft Windows, macOS, iOS
The Talos Principle Croteam Puzzle Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Android
Fork Parker's Holiday Profit Hike Dodge Roll Action-adventure Microsoft Windows, macOS
2015 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number Top-down shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Android
Titan Souls Acid Nerve Action-adventure Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Android
Not A Hero Roll7 Third-person shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Android
Ronin Tomasz Wacławek Turn-based strategy, action, platformer Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Breach & Clear: Deadline Turn-based strategy, action role-playing Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood Roll7 Sports Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Android
Dropsy Point-and-click adventure Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
A Fistful of Gun FarmerGnome Shoot 'em up Microsoft Windows
Broforce Free Lives Run-and-gun platform Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4
Downwell Moppin Vertically scrolling shooter, roguelike, platform Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Pathologic Classic HD Adventure, survival, role-playing Microsoft Windows
Noct C3SK Survival horror, shoot 'em up Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star Nakige, dating sim, otome Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
2016 ♯SelfieTennis VRUnicorns Sports Microsoft Windows
Enter the Gungeon Dodge Roll Bullet hell, roguelike Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
OmniBus Buddy Cops, LLC Action, platform Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Reigns Nerial Adventure Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Android
Okhlos Coffee Powered Machine Action, roguelike Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Mother Russia Bleeds Le Cartel Studio Beat 'em up, action-adventure Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4
Shadow Warrior 2 Flying Wild Hog First-person shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope Croteam First-person shooter Microsoft Windows
Genital Jousting Free Lives Sports Microsoft Windows
2017 Stories Untold No Code Adventure Microsoft Windows
Sub Rosa Cryptic Sea First-person shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter Croteam First-person shooter Microsoft Windows
Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter Croteam First-person shooter Microsoft Windows
Golf for Workgroups Cryptic Sea Sports Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Spaceplan Jake Hollands Clicker Microsoft Windows, iOS, Android
Strafe Pixel Titans First-person shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS, PlayStation 4
Block'hood Plethora Project Simulation Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Serious Sam's Bogus Detour Crackshell Shoot 'em up Microsoft Windows
Gorn Free Lives Beat 'em up Microsoft Windows
Absolver Sloclap Action role-playing Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Ape Out Gabe Cuzzillo Action Microsoft Windows
Ruiner Reikon Games Top-down shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Crossing Souls Fourattic Beat 'em up, action-adventure Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Scum Gamepires Survival Microsoft Windows
Minit ? Action-adventure Microsoft Windows
2018 The Swords of Ditto Onebitbeyond Action role-playing Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
TBA My Friend Pedro DeadToast Entertainment Third-person shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Eitr Eneme Entertainment Action role-playing Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4
Sometimes Always Monsters Vagabond Dog Adventure, role-playing Microsoft Windows
Gassy Mob Flee Punk Adventure iOS, Android
Paradise Never Kitty Lambda Games Action role-playing Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux
Serious Sam 4[12] Croteam First-person shooter TBA
The Talos Principle 2[13] Croteam Puzzle TBA

Acquisitions[edit]

Year of acquisition Year of original release Title Developer(s) Genre(s) Platform(s)
2010 2001 Serious Sam Classic: The First Encounter Croteam First-person shooter Microsoft Windows
2002 Serious Sam Classic: The Second Encounter Croteam First-person shooter Microsoft Windows
2011 2005 Serious Sam 2 Croteam First-person shooter Microsoft Windows
2013 1997 Shadow Warrior Classic 3D Realms First-person shooter Microsoft Windows, macOS
2006 Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure Beat 'em up, action-adventure Microsoft Windows
2015 2014 Breach & Clear Mighty Rabbit Studios Turn-based strategy, action role-playing Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Grant, Christopher (June 25, 2009). "Gamecock, Gathering of Developers founders re-emerge as Devolver Digital". Engadget. AOL Tech. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c 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. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (April 29, 2015). "Digital humanity: how Devolver is the Sub Pop of gaming". GamesRadar. Future plc. Retrieved June 2, 2016. 
  4. ^ Hamilton, Kirk (January 3, 2013). "Kirk's Top 11 Games Of 2012". Kotaku. Gawker Media. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 
  5. ^ Krupa, Daniel (February 19, 2013). "Hotline Miami Coming to PS3 and PS Vita". IGN. IGN Entertainment. Retrieved December 18, 2015. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ "Devolver Digital E3 2017 Press Conference Confirmed". PlayStation LifeStyle. May 17, 2017. 
  8. ^ "Devolver E3 2017 Won't Have Any New Game Reveals". PlayStation LifeStyle. June 8, 2017. 
  9. ^ "Devolver Digital's Very E3 Press Conference is Very Great Very. - Geek Reply". geekreply.com. 
  10. ^ "Devolver Digital Press Conference is a Meta Joke on Everyone Watching". June 11, 2017. 
  11. ^ "Devolver Digital Had The Best E3 2017 Press Conference". June 12, 2017. 
  12. ^ Grayson, Nathan (June 7, 2013). "Croteam Funding Serious Sam 4... Via Humble Bundle". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  13. ^ O'Connor, Alice (May 20, 2016). "The Talos Principle 2 Discreetly Announced". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 

External links[edit]