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Rising to the occasion

Rising Star kicked off 2012 with a bang by setting up a new US subsidiary. With its foothold established across the pond, James Batchelor asks Martin Defries about the publisher’s next moves in downloads and retail

What have you achieved in the US market since setting up Rising Star Games Inc earlier this year? We have achieved a lot – most of it ‘under the radar’ or without fanfare. What people see and what we are very pleased with is the partnership we have formed with Aksys, which is a well-established USA publisher. Aksys is tasked with representing the sales and distribution of Rising Star titles, and the launch of our first product Akai Katanain the region has been met with incredibly positive coverage.

We will launch download-only products across multiple platforms. Our income is set to explode in this area. Martin Defries, Rising Star Games

Overall I have been astonished by the amount of goodwill and support we have received since we put our heads over the parapet. While there are few good news stories in the games business in 2012, it is humbling to have received the response we have from trade and consumers alike.

Of course it helps having a desirable product but, additionally, it validates our grassroots campaigns of the past years. The networking and engagement elements of those efforts have reached beyond our traditional European market and

into the USA. Far more people in the US know about our products and campaigns than we could have imagined given this was not our focus territory.

What further plans do you have to grow your presence in this region? Later this month we will announce our first USA-only title. We also have a huge announcement for our new PS3 title that will be launched simultaneously in USA and Europe.

What’s the latest on Rising Star Games Digital? When will we see your downloads business momentum growing?

Unquestionably this is the growth area of our business. Currently it sits as an attachment to our package business, with identifiers being the themes, icons and general DLC that comes with our game launches. However, the mid-term plan is that we will launch download-only products across multiple platforms and these will be headlined by the RSG Digital brand to distinguish them. Our income is set to explode in this area.

What impact have your ventures in the US and digital space had on your boxed business? How have you maintained your dedication to fans of your retail products? Tough question. While our business for boxed games has suffered along with pretty much everyone else’s this year, that is not as a result of our USA venture. Like everyone else we have seen a fall off of our boxed games sales due to various market forces – not

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