On 3rd September 2020, we started on our mission to evolve a great studio: from new offices to a new name. We left behind the name Wargaming UK and became DPS Games. This change was more than symbolic, it was part of our journey to create something different: to create change and to state who we wanted to be. We even secured a lorry load of fireworks to let off in celebration, they never got used (more on those later). The work continues and what a year it has turned out to be.
As we started to settle down in our new top-floor Guildford studio and make progress on our game COVID hit. We got our staff home working ASAP and gave as much support as we could. Then, like all other studios and businesses around the world, we had to adjust to remote working. MSTeams became the new standard for meetings and our new hires had to wait an age to visit the physical studio (some are still waiting). Thankfully, with the vaccinations and easing of restrictions we have finally started to go back to the studio. We welcomed some new – but familiar – faces into the office, with a Brazilian BBQ party on our top balcony. It was a great event, we celebrated with metaphorical fireworks only.
We have had some amazing moments over this past year. Our upcoming game has gone from concept to prototype to vertical slice. We’ve had endless hours of real player testing, iteration, and refinement. For industry veterans that means we have passed all our gate reviews and are fully funded to launch. For new game makers it means we are charging ahead in making the game. We’ve united and bonded as a team over virtual escape rooms, beer tasting, and takeaway nights. It certainly wasn’t what I expected back in September 2020 but unique challenges bring unique solutions.
I am proud that as a studio, we have pulled together to support some important causes. We’ve hosted twitch streams to raise money for ‘Autistica’, a charity who focus on research that matters to autistic people and their families. This is close to our hearts, and we look forward to continuing to support their amazing work: https://www.autistica.org.uk/ . Around the office there are many folks sporting rainbow lanyards which people could voluntarily donate towards the support and work of the charity ‘Mermaids’. ‘Mermaids’ help gender diverse kids, young adults and their families: https://mermaidsuk.org.uk/ . You will see us marching proudly at ‘Pride in Surrey’ at the end of September.
We also partnered with ‘Grads in Games’ and some of our artists and designers gave their time to record their experiences and give talks to university students to help guide and, hopefully, inspire the next generation of game makers. Our aim is to open the doors of game development to anyone who wants to join us.
Despite the pandemic, we have also grown in the last year! Now over 100 people are part of the DPS Games team, and we are always looking for more. Please do have a look at our vacancies while you’re here.
I am excited to say that we’re growing our studio space by taking on a new floor in our building. As well as allowing us to host everyone on one floor, we’re adapting to COVID and making our work environment bigger and more flexible. We will get have more places to hang dragon heads, more walls to put up computer game themed art and more collaborative spaces for people to meet, talk, and design. When it is finished, we will have another excuse to let off those fireworks. This time no metaphor needed.
Sean Decker Product Director – DPS Games