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
Headquarters,
U.S.
Number of locations
2 offices (2018)
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Fork Parker (CFO)
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, Harry Miller and Rick Stults, previously founders and executives of Gathering of Developers and Gamecock Media Group, alongside 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, Harry Miller and Rick Stults.[2][3][4] The three had previously co-founded publishing companies Gathering of Developers in 1998, and Gamecock Media Group in 2007.[5][4] Founding partners were Nigel Lowrie and Graeme Struthers, also business partners of Wilson.[6] 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.[7][8] 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 cooperate with Devolver Digital.[9][5]

In 2012, Hotline Miami by Dennaton Games became the publisher's breakout hit, solidifying their role within the indie gaming community.[10] The title went on to receive critical praise, appear on multiple "Best of 2012" lists,[11] sold over 1,700,000 copies by February 2013.[12]

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.

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.[13] 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."[13]

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.[14] 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.[14]

E3 press conferences[edit]

In May 2017, Devolver Digital announced they would be also holding a press conference at E3 2017,[15] 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.[16] 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),[17] 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.[18] The show then ends with Struther's head exploding. The video was directed by Don Thacker, head of Imagos Softworks.[17] In the aftermath, the show was called "a meta joke on everyone watching"[19] and "a freaking masterpiece" that "highlighted pretty much everything wrong with AAA gaming".[20]

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".[21][22] 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.[23]

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 Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows
Serious Sam: The Random Encounter Vlambeer Microsoft Windows
Serious Sam 3: BFE Croteam Android, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
2012 Serious Sam: The Greek Encounter Eric Ruth Games Microsoft Windows
To-Fu: The Trials of Chi HotGen Android, Microsoft Windows
Spacelings HotGen Android, Microsoft Windows
Hotline Miami Android, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
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 Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Dungeon Hearts Cube Roots iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Shadow Warrior Classic Redux
  • 3D Realms
  • General Arcade
Android, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Foul Play Mediatonic Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox 360
Shadow Warrior Flying Wild Hog Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Viscera Cleanup Detail: Shadow Warrior RuneStorm Microsoft Windows
Defense Technica Kuno Interactive macOS, Microsoft Windows
2014 Luftrausers Vlambeer Android, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita
Serious Sam Classics: Revolution
Microsoft Windows
Always Sometimes Monsters Vagabond Dog Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
Dungeon Hearts Blitz Tangent Android, iOS
OlliOlli Roll7 Android, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Gods Will Be Watching Deconstructeam Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
The Expendabros Free Lives macOS, Microsoft Windows
Hatoful Boyfriend
Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Heavy Bullets Terri Vellmann Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Sigils of Elohim Croteam Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Cosmic DJ GL33k iOS, macOS, Microsoft Windows
The Talos Principle Croteam Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Fork Parker's Holiday Profit Hike Dodge Roll macOS, Microsoft Windows
2015 Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
  • Dennaton Games
  • Abstraction Games
Android, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Titan Souls Acid Nerve Android, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Not a Hero Roll7 Android, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
Ronin Tomasz Wacławek Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Breach & Clear: Deadline Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood Roll7 Android, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Dropsy Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
A Fistful of Gun FarmerGnome Microsoft Windows
Broforce Free Lives Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4
Downwell Moppin Android, iOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Pathologic Classic HD
Microsoft Windows
Noct C3SK Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Hatoful Boyfriend: Holiday Star
  • PigeoNation Inc.
  • Mediatonic
Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
2016 #SelfieTennis VRUnicorns Microsoft Windows
Enter the Gungeon Dodge Roll Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
OmniBus Buddy Cops, LLC Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Reigns Nerial Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
Okhlos Coffee Powered Machine Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Mother Russia Bleeds Le Cartel Studio Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, 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 Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Serious Sam VR: The First Encounter Croteam Linux, Microsoft Windows
Serious Sam VR: The Second Encounter Croteam Linux, Microsoft Windows
Golf for Workgroups Cryptic Sea Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Spaceplan Jake Hollands Android, iOS, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Strafe Pixel Titans Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
Block'hood Plethora Project Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Serious Sam's Bogus Detour Crackshell Linux, Microsoft Windows
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 Linux, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
The Talos Principle VR Croteam Linux, Microsoft Windows
Serious Sam 3 VR: BFE Croteam Linux, Microsoft Windows
High Hell
macOS, Microsoft Windows
Reigns: Her Majesty Nerial Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
2018 Genital Jousting Free Lives Microsoft Windows
The Red Strings Club Deconstructeam Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Crossing Souls Fourattic Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita
Umiro Diceroll Studios Android, iOS, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Minit JW, Kitty, Jukio, and Dom Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Block'hood VR
  • Plethora Project
  • General Arcade
Microsoft Windows
The Swords of Ditto Onebitbeyond Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
I Hate Running Backwards Binx Interactive Linux, Microsoft Windows
Scum Gamepires Microsoft Windows
The Messenger Sabotage Studio Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
Reigns: Game of Thrones Nerial Android, iOS, Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
Gris Nomada Studio macOS, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
2019 Pikuniku Sectordub Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
Ape Out Gabe Cuzzillo Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch
Katana Zero Askiisoft macOS, Microsoft Windows
Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass[24] 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 Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
Sometimes Always Monsters Vagabond Dog Microsoft Windows
Gassy Mob Flee Punk Android, iOS
Paradise Never Kitty Lambda Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows
The Talos Principle 2[25] 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 macOS, Microsoft Windows
2006 Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure The Collective Microsoft Windows
2015 2014 Breach & Clear Mighty Rabbit Studios Linux, macOS, Microsoft Windows

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Limited Run and Special Reserve Games Team Up for Strafe Physical Edition - Hardcore Gamer". hardcoregamer.com. May 3, 2017.
  2. ^ Grant, Christopher (June 25, 2009). "Gamecock, Gathering of Developers founders re-emerge as Devolver Digital". Engadget.
  3. ^ McKeand, Kirk (August 31, 2016). "Meet Devolver Digital, gaming's own Death Row Records". The Telegraph.
  4. ^ a b Zacny, Rob (June 30, 2014). "If at first you don't succeed: Mike Wilson on five years of Devolver, and a lifetime of publishing struggles". PCGamesN.
  5. ^ a b "Gamecock co-founders start new publishing company". gamesindustry.biz.
  6. ^ Messner, Steven (September 23, 2016). "How Devolver Digital is redefining videogame publishing". PC Gamer.
  7. ^ McWhertor, Michael. "Gamecock Resurrected As Devolver Digital?". kotaku.com.
  8. ^ "Gamecock and g.o.d. Vets Return with Devolver". Shacknews.
  9. ^ "Devolver Digital formed by Gamecock, GOD games founders - VG247". vg247.com. June 25, 2009.
  10. ^ Roberts, David (April 29, 2015). "Digital humanity: how Devolver is the Sub Pop of gaming". GamesRadar+.
  11. ^ Hamilton, Kirk (January 3, 2013). "Kirk's Top 11 Games Of 2012". Kotaku.
  12. ^ Krupa, Daniel (February 19, 2013). "Hotline Miami Coming to PS3 and PS Vita". IGN.
  13. ^ a b Chiullan, Moisés (March 7, 2013). "SXSW: Videogame Developer/Publisher Devolver Digital Adds a Film Distribution Arm!". Ain't It Cool News.
  14. ^ a b Newman, Heather (December 1, 2015). "A Very Special Holiday Interview with (fake) Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker". VentureBeat.
  15. ^ "Devolver Digital E3 2017 Press Conference Confirmed". PlayStation LifeStyle. May 17, 2017.
  16. ^ "Devolver E3 2017 Won't Have Any New Game Reveals". PlayStation LifeStyle. June 8, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "The story behind Devolver Digital's legendary, ridiculously last-minute 2017 E3 press conference". Polygon.
  18. ^ "Devolver Digital's Very E3 Press Conference is Very Great Very. – Geek Reply". geekreply.com.
  19. ^ "Devolver Digital Press Conference is a Meta Joke on Everyone Watching". cogconnected.com. June 11, 2017.
  20. ^ "Devolver Digital Had The Best E3 2017 Press Conference". oneangrygamer.net. June 12, 2017.
  21. ^ "Devolver Digital mocks loot boxes and cryptocurrencies with its latest E3 stunt". The Verge.
  22. ^ "Yes, you can actually buy Devolver Digital's Lootboxcoin". Polygon.
  23. ^ "Devolver Digital E3 2018: Press Conference Recap". techraptor.net.
  24. ^ Singletary, Charles Jr. (June 22, 2018). "Serious Sam 4 Interview: First Encounters of the Badass Kind". Shacknews.
  25. ^ O'Connor, Alice (May 20, 2016). "The Talos Principle 2 Discreetly Announced". Rock, Paper, Shotgun.

External links[edit]