INDEPENDENT games developer Eutechnyx has signed a publishing deal to launch its latest racing game to more than 260 million players in Russia.
Two of the largest Russian mobile phone and internet operators, MegaFon and Vympelcom, have teamed up to present the Gateshead firm’s latest online game, Auto Club Revolution, across the Russian-speaking territories.
Eutechnyx chief operating officer Darren Jobling said the game is already being played in 180 countries worldwide.
He said: “Auto Club Revolution is much more than a game, it also provides an immersive online experience for car and racing communities.
“To deliver this to the Russian market requires partners like these who think innovatively, demonstrate a deep understanding of local markets and have the ability to establish Auto Club Revolution as the leading online racing game in these key territories.”
Auto Club Revolution is a free-to- play online racing game and car community built in collaboration with the motor industry.
Eutechnyx used a £6m investment from Amsterdam-based capital investor Prime Technology Ventures to produce the online racing game, which has been enjoying a successful test run since its launch in March.
Auto Club Revolution has hosted more than a million virtual races, while 150,000 users have customised and enhanced their experience by paying money for in-game add-ons such as power-ups or clothing.
The game is currently available in English and German. The Russian version will launch later this year with fully localised content and support for the whole Commonwealth of Independent States region.
It will help brothers Darren and Brian Jobling, who run and own half of Eutechnyx, to really establish the firm in the growing free-to-play games market.
It is a focus that will lead to significant growth, which the brothers say will mean North East staff numbers doubling from 85 to 175 in the next two to three years.
Jobling said: “We’ve hired 41 people in the last 10 months to produce and launch this game and we’re well on target to reaching 175 in the next three years.
“Since 2000, we’ve invested £24m in research and development and we’ve brought all that technology into Auto Club Revolution.
“If we keep battling on and signing deals like this one, I see no reason why we can’t grow Eutechnyx from a £5.2m turnover company to a £64m company within three years.
“If you consider Facebook went from zero to £2bn revenue in just three years, that’s an example of what we’re aiming for here in Gateshead.”
As well as an office in the Metrocentre East Business Park, the firm also has studios in Pittsburgh in the US and in Chengdu, China, and in Hong Kong and employs over 180 people worldwide.
The company was set up in 1987 and briefly sold to Merit Studios in Dallas in 1993.
However, the Joblings bought it back in 1996 with the help of French software firm Infogrames in a deal which allowed them to take the firm fully independent again in 2000.