You might not have come across Hunted Cow before now. The studio is based up in the frozen north of Elgin and works mainly upon browser-based MMO games, including Fallen Sword, SigmaStorm II and Gothador.
The company recently picked up an exporter of the year award from the Moray Chamber of Commerce and has now been featured in a (very nice) piece from the Press & Journal, outlining the company’s plans for 2011 and success to date…
The former Elgin Academy pupil, better known as “Hoofmaster” to the Hunted Cow herd, started developing games as a teenager and met business partner Glenn Murphy (“Cowboy”) when they shared accommodation in Dundee as they studied on one of the country’s first game-technology courses at Abertay University.
They joined forces in their final year to design websites to make enough money to create games and formed Hunted Cow – the name is “random” – in 2003.
The two friends followed the unorthodox funding route of both obtaining credit cards to launch the business from a small room above a shop in Elgin’s High Street.
Their first game, CowPlay, was launched in 2003 offering free multiplayer chess and the following year came Gothador which became an international success.
It was followed by Sigmastorm, Solar Fleet and Fallen Sword in 2006 which alone attracted 2million subscribers and made Hunted Cow one of the pioneers of free-to-play games.
“Fallen Sword is non-subscription based but people can pay for upgrades,” said Mr Mulholland. “They choose to pay as opposed to being forced to pay.”
As the business progressed even Disney, which was looking for developers, took an interest but Hunting Cow rejected its overtures preferring to work on its own ideas.
Mr Mulholland said: “We want to develop more and more games, players and the number of staff we have.
You can read the entire interview here – and we’d highly recommend doing so.
Here’s to hoping this encourages a little bit more in the way of games production in the north, for me especially in Aberdeen where i’m from, I am aware of 1 serious project under development there and not under the banner of any studio but arranged by students on the local games design college course. I was even fortunate enough to see some of the concept art 🙂