Introducing Wales Interactive: the Penarth-based games company set up by Richard Pring and Dr David Banner MBE in 2012. Over the years, the company has worn many hats – from developers making their own games to publishers creating and selling indie projects to the likes of PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo. Nowadays, as well as continuing to create and publish, the duo and their tech team are set on making their mark on the world of interactive games.
While their creative projects may have changed, their purpose hasn’t. Since it was founded, Wales Interactive wanted to create a hub for the games industry in Wales to give it a strong, unified voice. As well as showcasing its potential to the people of Wales and highlighting how the industry works and thrives, they also travel to games hubs across the world, from San Francisco to Japan, to make sure Wales is not only included but recognised in the global games industry.
The company built a strong relationship with us here at Creative Wales and Welsh Government to achieve their ambitions. In the early years, they accessed the Digital Development Fund, which was key in getting their initial projects up and running as it offered an alternative funding avenue to investment.
Since 2014, they’ve also teamed up with Welsh Government to go on trade shows across the globe – helping to promote their work and Wales’ potential as an innovative and talented games hub.
The company is keen to use Wales’ strong film and TV industry by creating more interactive movies or FMV (full motion video) games. With direct access to gatekeepers like Sony and Microsoft, they hope to combine the skills of the booming film and TV industry in Wales with the knowledge and interactivity of the games industry to create a sustainable interactive movie model. To do this, they are harnessing talent from Wales-based production companies, such as Good Gate Media, to create interactive movies that are at the forefront of film and games publishing.
With a small core team of 12 – from publishers and programmers to sound designers and markers – working with hundreds of people across the globe, the company needed to design a sustained model of working. They created an interactive scripting tool (WIST), which allows them to work with writers to plan, create and publish their interactive games.
With the number of projects in the works stacking up, it’s this tool that will help the company continue to create successful games like Who Pressed Mute on Uncle Marcus?, The Complex and Five Dates. Wales Interactive will continue to develop WIST over the next few years while part of the media.cymru consortium.
As they look to the future, an avenue the company is keen to explore is interactive multiplayer: an innovative area of gaming that is relatively new to the game's world. The goal of this new project? To get as many people as possible playing and enjoying their games.
Interested in finding out more about Wales Interactive? Here are some projects to explore:
- Maid of Sker: a first-person horror inspired by Welsh folklore. Listen out for the haunting version of the well-known Welsh hymn, Calon Lân. It received development funding from the EU’s Creative Europe programme, assisted by Creative Europe Desk UK Wales – formerly part of Creative Wales
- Sker Ritual successor to Maid of Sker, this multiplayer horror is set in the countryside outside of Port Talbot
- Interactive movies: from The Complex to Deathtrap Dungeon