Coffee Stain Studios: Expanding, Acquiring and Publishing
Coffee Stain Studios, the team behind Goat Simulator, officially announced on Friday that it will now act as a publisher. The Swedish team have also announced the first project they've signed; Huntdown. This news also came on the same day as they announced that they've acquired a minority stake in another indie development studio: Ghost Ship Games.
The movement into publishing, under the name Coffee Stain Publishing, is a bold one. The announcement comes with the statement "We want to start small and keep it small, and not sign on too many projects for the time being. That will allow us enough time to do a good job. But we do urge all you devs out there to reach out and start talking to us about your projects anytime!".
Of course starting small is the smart thing, but it can invariably lead to larger things. This also isn't the company's first venture into publishing, with the game The Westport Independent being published under Coffee Stain Studios last year. It's likely this release is the catalyst of Coffee Stain Studios launching Coffee Stain Publishing.
The approach of starting small and expanding is tried and tested. Prime examples are Paradox Interactive (FRA:ETA), who we recently covered the growth and year-end results of, and Devolver Digital, another private company that has expanded rapidly on the back of breakout hits. Paradox Interactive, who only listed last year, are a good example of steady growth through selective publishing. Devolver Digital have been much more rapid, even now having gone into film distribution.
Relying on the steady growth of their fan base, with selected publishing deals seems to be the route Coffee Stain Studios are aiming for. However, following the hit that was Goat Simulator and the focus on expansions and added content, fans are likely looking for a similar game which could be a problem.
Expanding and Aquiring
CEO Anton Westbergh writes "This is the start of something extremely exciting. Coffee Stain has for some time looked for good ways of expanding, and we see this as a perfect way" in the announcement of the acquisition of a minority stake in Ghost Ship Games. Alongside this acquisition comes the publishing rights of the in-development Deep Rock Galactic.
Deep Rock Galactic as a title is looking a lot like last year's incredibly hyped No Man's Sky. Some videos of the game already have a large number of views and as the title comes closer to release, more publicity will come its way. Should Ghost Ship Games and Coffee Stain Studios find this new venture successful, the chance of looking for more is extremely likely.
It's understandable that the studio has started looking beyond itself in a means of expansion. The core studio has been very successful but hasn't seen a new release since 2014's Goat Simulator and, as successful as it has been - even seeing another company release it on mobile devices - there's a limit to its reach. Should Coffee Stain find success with their publishing deals, and acquisition, this is certainly a company to watch as further aims of expanding in the future would be likely.