Externally, IronFist will appear like any other multi-project studio. However the structure is significantly different. The core group at IronFist will always remain small, with each project taking the form of a separate standalone special purpose vehicle company, set-up as co-production between the studio and the project investors.
Teams on each project are contracted directly to the SPV of the game they’re working on rather than the central group, while the IronFist core group manage each production in the same way they would in a traditional multi-project studio. This structure enables a more controlled risk for investors, the potential for greater rewards for developers, and a scalable financial exposure for the studio itself.
“Independent game developers have been following the same cycle for the last couple of decades, increasing in size by hiring new team members in the good times, and then facing unsustainable costs in the lean times triggering redundancies or studio closures,” Baynes said. “IronFist’
“The majority of mid-size development studios are going to shift to this model over time, of that I have no doubt. There are benefits for all parties involved, from the studios themselves gaining more flexibility over their financial commitments, to the investors and publishers being able to see a more direct return and focus on their money, and the team members, who will have more personal value due to freedom of movement, and a likelihood of being able to more directly benefit from the success of the projects they work on.”
IronFist’s first projects have not yet been announced, however Baynes did reveal that they are keeping a diverse portfolio, with both mobile and console titles currently in the concept phase, and that a Kickstarter campaign for one particular project is due to launch in early May 2014.
Notes for Editors
About Nick Baynes
Nick is a video game industry veteran of some 22 years, experienced at working with large multidiscipline teams, outsourcers, marketing and finance departments and a variety of business models at both publishers and developers.
A founding director of Climax Racing at the turn of the century, which was acquired by Disney in 2006 and rebranded as Black Rock, where he was Game Director on Split/Second (PS3/Xbox 360), Nick went on to form Big Bit in 2011, a mobile and tablet development studio that works with some of the biggest brands in industry on free-to-play and digital toy products.
In March 2014 Nick left Big Bit to found IronFist Games, a new breed of game development production house, bringing the movie production model to video games for the first time. Nick also runs Gameaholic, a business consultancy for start-ups, game developers, and all businesses looking to "gamify" their workplace and services.
Based in the UK, Nick has extensive experience working with partners across America, Europe and the Asian market.
IronFist Games Logo - https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/
Nick Baynes Photo - https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/