Creative Industry Report: Supergiant Games

For Assignment 1, here is my report about a design studio I find admirable.

Supergiant Games is a small game development company based in San Francisco. Founded by a pair of ex-Electronic Arts employees in 2009, the studio consists of only 16 full-time employees, with a varying number of freelancers contributing at various times. Nonetheless, they are responsible for four award-winning video games: Bastion, Transistor, Pyre, and Hades.

Gameplay screenshot from Bastion (2009)

The reasons I admire Supergiant are threefold.

First, Supergiant is an example of a highly successful low-budget game developer which proves that high-quality games can succeed regardless of their budget. Through effective project management and quality control, Supergiant uses its limited manpower and resources to punch way above its weight in the industry.

Cinematic artwork from Transistor (2014)

The second reason I admire Supergiant is its unique artistic vision. The studio is renowned for its highly expressive visual design and music design, which I find refreshing in an industry that does not always prioritize aesthetics.

Furthermore, Supergiant is constantly pushing the boundaries of storytelling in video games. For instance, Pyre is a sports game where you will sometimes want to lose matches for the benefit of characters on the opposing team. I believe that explorations like these advance the world of game design.

Gameplay screenshot from Pyre (2017)

The third and final reason I admire Supergiant is its respect for its audience. Supergiant’s most recent work, Hades, is a work-in-progress constantly being refined based on the suggestions of players. While some companies use “Early Access” as an excuse to earn money off an unfinished game, Hades was excellent from the outset, and has been improved numerous times based on feedback. I believe that this collaborative mindset fosters a great creator-audience relationship and improves the experience of the work.

Promotional artwork for Hades (2018-)

(272 words, not including captions)

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Chin Kee Yong

hello i play video games and also sometimes make video games

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