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Games company rises from the brink
5:00pm Saturday 27th October 2012 in News
IN 2011 video games developer THQ closed its Warrington office, leaving its five-man development team to go it alone with their own firm.
For Don Whiteford, Rob Anderson, Mat Draper, Andy Bate and Carl Jackson, the foundation of Nomad Games marks a return to flying solo having sold their original company Juice Games to THQ, which brought the American giant to the town.
November will see them release their first game as Nomad, an adaptation of the classic fantasy board game Talisman, with support from high street retailer Games Workshop.
“We knew THQ was going, so we didn’t miss a beat putting our own operation together,” said Lymm resident Don.
“We signed the deal with Games Workshop on the day that THQ closed.”
“None of us signed on, we’re all family men and it was important to get the business up and running as quickly as possible,” added the 52 year-old dad of two.
Vital assistance in getting Nomad off the ground was provided when the team was able to secure the use of THQ’s former premises at Centre Park near Bridge Foot.
Don said: “They still own the building and let us base ourselves there while we set up as a show of goodwill.
“It was a great helping hand and allowed the transition to be virtually seamless.”
This isn’t the first time the team have dealt with starting again after a closure; they formed Juice after Rage Software was shut down in 2002.
“We knew the drill; it was a very similar scenario to what we were facing 10 years ago,” Don said.
However the video game landscape has changed markedly since then with the increasing prominence of downloadable games for handheld devices such as tablets and mobile phones. But Don believes these developments are advantageous to small firms such as Nomad.
He said: “It means small companies can develop high quality games on modest budgets and make them available to large audiences.
“We’re not alone, there are a lot of people laid off by big studios who wanted to remain in the area and have gone independent. Gradually we’re rebuilding the industry in the region.”
Talisman will be available for PC, tablets and mobiles, and pre-orders are being taken at nomad-games.co.uk and talisman-game.com.