The Sharp Project signs up two more gaming tenants
Hot on the heels of the recent announcement that new independent game studio Fabrik has taken a 1,200 sq ft space at The Sharp Project, Manchester’s digital production complex, two more companies in the gaming sector have signed up, helping to cement the creative digital hub’s position as the new home of the gaming sector in Manchester.
Founded in late 2014 by Dr Luke Thompson and Gary Lloyd, SIGTRAP Games, a small indie game studio, has relocated to The Sharp Project from Huddersfield. Creating focused, no filler indie games, their debut product is Sublevel Zero, a rogue like 6-degree-of-freedom strategic shooter set in a universe where reality is falling apart. Published by Mastertronic, it was released on PC, Mac and Linux in October last year.
Co-founder of SIGTRAP Gary Lloyd said: “Being around diverse digital businesses that congregate here is great. Everyone is really friendly and the environment gets the creative juices flowing. The Sharp Project is a cool place full of Northern talent and it feels really good to be part of it.”
Dr Luke Thompson, co-founder of SIGTRAP added: “We do a lot of work with Virtual Reality (VR) and were therefore really pleased to win the Microsoft-sponsored Best Windows VR Games prize, for ‘The Crystal Curse’ last month at Jamchester, the UK’s biggest professional game jam*. We are currently working on a number of prototypes for our next game and developing VR products as well as traditional games. We’re starting to build a name for ourselves for VR and offer consulting on other VR projects.”
Boomdash Digital is a free to play mobile publisher, which helps finish and shape existing games to make them more commercially viable. Providing publishing solutions to indie developers of all shapes and sizes, they enable them to compete with big publishers and studios. The team of six have a total of 80 years in gaming expertise between them.
Steve Tagger, Head of Publishing and Co-founder of Boomdash Digital explained: “We’re focussed on the monetisation, marketing, and publishing of Free to Play mobile games to engaged communities. Working closely with the teams, we simplify the business of Free to Play game publishing, helping developers to improve their gameplay, engagement and monetisation strategy. We make people want to pay to play because they enjoy the experience and really see the value. Player engagement is key to this and through our involvement in a game we look to increase retention rates, player conversation and Life Time Value of players across the board, to dramatic effect.”
Viktorya Hollings, Head of Production and Co-founder of Boom Dash Digital added: “We wanted to be in a creative space and The Sharp Project fits the bill. The energy in the building is palpable. We want to help position Manchester at the forefront of the gaming sector again. Twenty years ago it was an important hub for video games and we want to build on that heritage. There is lots of great talent here and we would like to work with local developers as well as indie companies across the globe.”
Sue Woodward, Founder of The Sharp Project added: “For two years we’ve been home to Playground Squad UK, a top European gaming school, and with Fabrik, Boomdash and SIGTRAP Games joining the fold we are fast becoming recognised as an important base for the games industry in Manchester. Gaming is another significant digital sector for The Sharp Project, as well as for Manchester as a whole, and we want to play our part in developing the sector and creating jobs for local people.”