OTTAWA – June 3, 2021 – Snowed In Studios today announces the expansion of their industry-leading game development services into a new division, Scarab Games, focused on helping major brands enter the lucrative world of AAA gaming. Snowed In will leverage its direct relationship with teams at XBOX and PlayStation to help CMOs get on console and PC, and provide an experience equal to the franchises they already help develop.
Ottawa-based Snowed In Studios is considered one of the premier game developers in the country after recently being acquired by global gaming goliath Keywords Studios. Keywords operates 60+ Game Development Studios located across 4 continents and 21 countries, and services some of the largest game publishers in the world including Ubisoft, SEGA, Nintendo, Google, T2, and Electronic Arts. As part of Keywords Studios, Snowed In has access to the full suite of external development solutions required to bring AAA titles to market.
Gaming Eclipsing All Other Media
Scarab Games launches at a time when the console and PC gaming industry continues to eclipse all other forms of entertainment.The studio says it is already working with several “famous brands” on their own development plans but at this time could not disclose those relationships due to confidentiality agreements.
According to their website, they will cap development to two franchises per year, as global game development demand is at an all time high and studios competing for talent to keep up with explosive growth. In April, Snowed In Studios went on a hiring blitz to increase the head count of their already 100+ person development team, and have been a strong advocate in the game industry for employee-positive “no crunch” working conditions. A quick look at their Glassdoor confirms they walk that path with almost perfect approval of the studio and CEO.
Breaking the barrier of entry for brands into console and PC
While smaller mobile and browser-based games have been the domain of consumer brands for well over a decade, the barriers to entry for brands in “Triple-A” have been difficult for marketers. Canadian marketing agency Neptune Agency has been tapped to help marketers navigate their development investment.
CEO Ryan Valley told TechBomb the reasons vary for brand hesitancy while entering AAA gaming. “It’s a significant investment of time and money to create your own game franchise. Many marketers work on quarterly results, and a console game can take over a year to develop if you plan on doing it right. The visionary and disruptive companies that take the branded gaming leap can benefit similar to traditional gaming AAA franchises. They often see massive returns on investment financially but marketers can also increase their own brand affinity with a roadmap to quality engagement year over year with customers. There is also a healthy opportunity, particularly in consumer packaged goods, to provide ongoing content delivered on the products already sitting on store shelves. It’s a real opportunity to move customers to your product with a value add their competition can’t offer.”
“We’ve seen famous brands dare to go into console gaming and, years later, find themselves in a position to release blockbuster animated films around those same brands,” said Snowed In Studios’ Senior Producer Nigel Franks. “With direct relationships to publishers, we are equipped to make that possible for brands that were outside of the traditional gaming space.”
Data shows that gaming has become the number one form of entertainment globally and many brands are now ready to make a multi-million dollar investment in their customers’ daily entertainment. As one of the world’s most respected and loved game developers the studio gives brands the pedigree and tools to provide the best possible entertainment experience for current and future customers.
“Moving into new territory is never easy without a map,” said Snowed In Studios CEO, Jean-Sylvain Sormany.
Helping CMOs and CEOs navigate the gaming landscape
Scarab Games has created a proprietary roadmap to help brands from every sector distil their history and brand value into deep, story-driven narratives and gameplay styles for original entertainment projects. It’s all part of helping CEOs and CMOs navigate the landscape with confidence. They will be announcing an outside advisory board that includes some of the highest profile names in the gaming industry to help brands navigate the AAA world.
Scarab Gaming sees this new market as an entertainment force preparing a path of exponential growth. Beyond advertising, brands have the opportunity to create a deeper connection with audiences, with the ability to jump-start vast entertainment properties.
“Disruptive marketers know their brand has the power to extend to new media,” said Ryan Valley, CEO of Neptune Agency.
Snowed In CEO Jean-Sylvain Sormany added: “As gamers ourselves, we know the gaming audience wants to engage with brands they love, through meaningful, intelligent and fun gaming experiences. This can dramatically improve brand loyalty, so we are officially ready to help brands and gamers unite, and build new communities through play.”
Partner Neptune Agency has a rich history of gaming content and development including their CEO helping XBOX Entertainment greenlight a documentary about unearthing the E.T. The Game in 2014. Legend was, in the early eighties, Atari dispatched dump trucks filled with overstock in the New Mexico desert. The prime culprit? The so-called ‘worst video game of all time’ E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial for the Atari 2600. We set out on a mission to find out if it was true. We ended up discovering an industry passionate to explore its roots. Famed Marvel director Zak Penn took the reins and built and award winning documentary which debuted on Netflix called “Atari Game Over“. That documentary is available on Amazon Prime and worth a watch if you are a gaming historian fan.
Whether that means breakfast cereal characters in the next Halo, or a Call-of-Duty-esque series of games inspired by hair conditioner, we can’t say, but it appears there is a powerhouse team of gaming and marketing folks ready to make it happen.
Scarab Games launched a brand new website and brand for companies to get started on a path to co-developing their gaming strategy, build console gaming revenue while creating a new franchises and become a powerful force in entertainment. Visit it at www.scarabgames.com.