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Maia dev Simon Roth opening new studio


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After making more than $1 million from the crowdfunded and Early Access title, the indie developer is looking for staff for his new company, Machine Studios


by Craig Chapple


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SIMON ROTH IS opening a new studio in Oxford thanks to the success of his god game Maia. Speaking to Develop, the indie developer says he’s now looking to form a team of high-skilled, multi-talented people that can fit into his “little dynamic” company called Machine Studios. The news comes as money received for Maia has surpassed $1m. This total includes the £140,000 raised from Kickstarter in November 2012, Indiegogo funding, direct sales from his website and purchases of the Steam Early Access release.


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And though that game is still under development, Roth says he is now also considering working on one of three different games and a licensed title, but needs a full-time team to help with the increased workload. And not content with just that, Roth is also contemplating becoming a publisher for small indie titles. Though like many indie games developers Roth has previously operated under his own name for Maia, he says using a proper studio name is important for both prospective employees and for his growing business as a whole.


I didn’t want my employees


to have to put on their CV ‘I worked at Simon Roth’.


Simon Roth


“The real reason I wanted Machine Studios rather than Simon Roth Incorporated is I thought it would be really narcissistic and weird, for one,” he says.


“And also, I didn’t want my employees to have to put on their CV ‘I worked at Simon Roth’, when it could be Machine Studios. And so it gives them a better thing to say what they worked for.


“And also, if you’re dealing with Americans, sometimes they never understood when my trader set-up was registered in my own name, they didn’t understand the concept.” One of the key roles Roth has fulfilled during Maia’s development is that of community management. He says he takes the time to respond to as many questions from users as possible, and also discusses issues with Steam reviewers and Reddit users, even sometimes advising people against buying his game, as it might not fit with their tastes. Despite gearing up to take more of a studio head role, he says he’ll continue writing the code for Maia and engaging with the community, as he believes fans appreciate talking directly to the devs, but may look into getting a community manager to ensure there’s a constant link to players. “I may get people in to do little bits of it, or try to use more middleware to try and reduce my load,” he says. “But it’s not like any time not working is spent wasted on social media anyway. “So I just use the time I was going to waste on social media and use that to sort out my social media stuff. I may get a community manager in, but I think a lot of people appreciate the fact they can talk to me directly.” 


AUGUST 2014 | 49


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