Hutch is a dynamic game development studio based in London, UK with a satellite studio in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia. Founded in 2011 with a goal of creating mobile racing games that truly entertain people, the company has a wealth of traditional game development experience and employs people who are talented and passionate about gaming.
The video game industry is one that’s seen significant growth during the COVID-19 health pandemic. Audience size and community engagement have increased over the past few months as people are staying home and looking for ways to entertain themselves. For the Tools and Technology (TNT) team at the Hutch Games satellite in Mahone Bay, the remote work has been an easy adjustment, and helped level the playing field with the rest of their colleagues in the UK office.
“We share the development of our products with the UK teams, but what’s really interesting is that over the last few months, we’re all virtual now,” says Sean Turner, Studio Head of the Canadian office. “As the satellite office, we’re used to finding fun new ways of improving communication with our main office, but now with the whole UK studio working from home, our company has been on a journey to find better ways to work remotely.”
There are currently five software engineers working on the Mahone Bay TNT team for Hutch, with plans for growth in the near future. They help service all of the company’s flagship games and work with add-ons like in-app purchases, advertising, analytics, social networking and customer support services.
“Everything is constantly updating, so our job is never done,” Sean says.
About The Games
Hutch strives to own the mobile racing space, and offers a number of car-themed games as free to play live services on both the iOS and Android platforms.
“You might think there’s not much variety when you hear car racing,” says Sean, “but actually, there’s a lot we can do in that space. There’s something for everyone from hardcore car fanatics, to kids, to casual gamers. Racing appeals to so many people, because it’s easy to understand.”
The company has millions of users playing their games each month. They run live in-game events which are incredibly popular with players, and employ a Community Team to engage directly with users. “Getting feedback from the community in a very direct way, about what we can do to make a game better, is what helps us continuously improve,” Sean says.
There are currently three main games that the team is focusing on: F1® Manager, Rebel Racing and Top Drives.
F1® Manager encourages players to master the art of race strategy. The game has faster than ever on-track action with stunning graphics, and features all the official circuits, team and drivers from the 2020 FIA Formula One World Championship™!
With realistic driving physics, speedfreak add-ons and turbos, epic overtakes and stunning West Coast locations, Rebel Racing bring a breath of fresh air to the mobile racing category. Players collect, customize and upgrade a fleet of real-world classics and awesome supercars, then race them in tournaments.
Players put their knowledge of cars to the test in Top Drives, the only automotive card collection game for mobile. Users build a racing deck from over 1900 officially licensed cars and play through hundreds of campaign challenges and new competitive events daily.
A Great Culture Drives Excellence
Hutch has created a work environment that employees enjoy spending time in. Their team works together and plays together, so that they’re prepared to take on creative and technical challenges as a team.
“We have a huge emphasis on the people that we employ,” Sean explains. “It can’t be understated. We’re looking to give all our employees a good work-life balance. If you give people all of the information, trust them to do a good job, take care of them with a nice environment and good benefits, then teams will perform to their best.”
Transparency from upper management through to the whole team plays a big part in the collaborative culture at Hutch. All employees have access to data on company revenue, download stats and other key performance indicators, delivered in weekly meetings by the company’s Growth and Insights team. This helps to empower the team and provide a better understanding of the challenges they’re facing. Team members are also given the independence to define their own goals and processes, allowing them to work efficiently and respond to players needs more effectively.