Dead Island publisher Deep Silver has claimed that it is "much better than the Activision's, EAs, and Ubisofts of the world" because it actually "make(s) money", and attributes Dead Island's success to "some genius marketing... that larger companies wouldn't try".
"We're a small, guerilla tactics company," Deep Silver's COO Geoff Mulligan told Game Informer in an interview published in the magazine. "People say, 'Oh, you acquired Volition and Metro, you're going to be a triple-A publisher. What separates us from a triple-A publisher is that I don't really have a desire to be a triple-A publisher.
"I actually think we're much better than the Activisions, EAs, and Ubisofts of the world. People say, 'What do you mean? They are valued at three billion dollars.' I say the difference is that we make money. [Laughs]"
Deep Silver is a division of privately-held entertainment distribution company Koch Media. The firm saw its first major success story with Dead Island, before acquiring Metro: Last Light, Saints Row 4 and Volition from defunct publisher THQ.
"That's what it's all about," Mulligan continues. "Now, with the acquisition of Metro and Saints Row, it allows us to, again, go from strength to strength. But do I want to hire 500 people and build a world headquarters? That's not what we do - nor is it what we need to do."
Mulligan believes that you "do not need a giant organization anymore to succeed as a video games publisher, citing Deep Silver's ability to "move quickly" and "use guerilla tactics" as reasons for its success.
"I firmly believe that you do not need a giant organization anymore. That's what's killing so many publishers. The moment you don't have a giant, triple-A hit, your overhead absolutely eats you alive. What do you do if this big, triple-A game didn't hit? You've got to ship another one very quickly and hope that one does."
"I wouldn't consider us a middle-class publisher at all," he continued, "we're a publisher that, in a difficult and rapidly evolving marketplace, uses guerilla tactics. We move quickly and we don't have a public board of directors to answer to. We like what we do and have fun. That's important! You go to some of these companies - you probably have good friends at some of these companies. You go hang out with them, and they are miserable or they are frightened. I think our people are having a really good time."
Deep Silver achieved major success with Dead Island, a zombie-themed action-RPG released in September 2011 that went on to sell over 5 million units.
However, Mulligan admits that luck played a part in the game's success.
"We thought it would be a very good title," he added. "Did any of us predict the kind of runaway success that we've had - three million [in the US], five million worldwide? I don't think in anybody's wildest imagination would it have gone that far.
"Luck had a lot to do with it, and some genius marketing - marketing events that larger companies wouldn't try."
The sequel Dead Island: Riptide is due for release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC later this month.
Source: Game Informer - May 2013