We talked to Jarosław Jasiński of SuperNova Interactive on how to implement innovative technologies along with searching for new paths and growth opportunities and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jarosław Jasiński: Fortunately, none of us got infected, and we are all well – we’ve managed to avoid the virus successfully. However, what bothers us the most are the limited social interactions and the lockdown under which Poland is. The whole social life happens at home, which can be annoying and awkward to an extrovert like me.
I’m looking forward to going back to normal.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded SuperNova Interactive.
Jarosław Jasiński: I shall begin with the fact that I’m not only a game producer, but I also introduce myself as a futurologist, a passion for innovative virtual media and the internet. My profession is to develop business models in the IT industry. For over 12 years, I’ve been the SuperNova Interactive owner, where I have implemented tens of IT projects, start-ups, whole companies, and games.
In my job, I look for projects which are the “lost pearls” in whose history and development something has gone wrong, but they still show significant growth potential. I found such a spark of potential in Ski Jumps that was up for sale at that time, and without much hesitation, I closed the deal. This project fitted perfectly into my product portfolio but, of course, needed the appropriate amount of work and effort put into its restoration and modeling. At the moment, this game has over 50 thousand registered accounts, which, as far as ski jumps are concerned, is an outstanding achievement and should be considered a triumph.
How does SuperNova Interactive innovate?
Jarosław Jasiński: SuperNova Interactive has been on the market for over 12 years to show off with not half bad achievements, not only in the field of gaming but also in the specific business projects in the IT sector. We cooperated with the largest ICT enterprises operating in Poland – not only the already mentioned RAS Polska but also money.pl (currently a part of WirtualnaPolska Group), ZETO SA (Polish oldest software developer recently celebrating its 50th anniversary), AZ.pl,meczyki.pl and many more.
At present, we can proudly say about tens of greater or lesser productions, some of which got an allocation with a budget reaching tens of millions USD. As a curiosity, it is worth mentioning Delirium, the first Polish MMO game released in 2006, which attracted over 250 thousand players in the early stages of development (unfortunately, it is inactive at the moment). Apart from developing Ski Jumps, we are currently working on a new sci-fi MMO product targeting the international market, set in an innovative technology that hasn’t been used for such projects yet. Everybody interested in our activity is very welcome to visit our website www.supernovainteractive.pl and even more welcome to join us!
How does the coronavirus pandemic affect your business, and how are you coping?
Jarosław Jasiński: The pandemic crisis has radically changed the customers’ needs and behaviors. Coronavirus has devastated several industries and sectors worldwide. However, the computer game industry has visibly taken advantage of the pandemic. Even before the coronavirus outbreak, the gaming market recorded an annual growth of 15% and is estimated to reach 30% in 2020, rating the highest in several years.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has, on the one hand, caused significant economic disruption. On the other hand, it has powerfully triggered the video game industry’s development. We are witnessing an unusual growth of interest in games, which comes straight from common restrictions that limit our social interactions. As it appears, the gamers are aware of the threat caused by the coronavirus and are willing to choose a safe alternative to their activity by selecting online entertainment.
All in all, the number of players and their engagement in gaming was record-breaking in 2020. In our case, the pandemic has fortunately driven the players’ attention towards our products.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jarosław Jasiński: When it comes to my business, my colleagues and I have worked remotely for many years as a scattered team now, so the pandemic did not affect our work. Nothing has changed for us in this matter.
Nevertheless, we are witnessing historical changes happening all over the world. I try to attentively observe the situation, analyze it and make predictions about how COVID-19 might influence our future and remodel our social life and the global economy. There’s no doubt that the pandemic will create new standards in the world we will have to live in – many changes will appear to be long-term, some of them will stay with us forever. It’s good to know what this world will be like after the pandemic.
Among the practical skills I have learned, it is worth mentioning a better understanding of the stock market. In 2020 I realized my plan of investing in stocks. Although this does not strictly connect with SuperNova Interactive’s activity, I see it as a valuable lesson marked by many ups and downs. Luckily, there have been more ups. Therefore I’m going to continue and improve my investment strategy next year.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and SuperNova Interactive in the future?
Jarosław Jasiński: Above all, I try to give all my attention and focus to the business’s development and keep away any opposing thoughts or bad scenarios that may happen in life anyways. At the moment, SuperNova Interactive is in intensive development, expanding its start-ups, performs at its best, and working on its new original games. Ski Jumps made its way to the top and has been a significant project influencing its success. We cooperate with professionals who are passionate about new media and the internet. Our priority is an interdisciplinary approach as, in our opinion, it drives all the creativity. Additionally, promoting young entrepreneurs and designers allows us to gain unique knowledge and inspires us to realize our new visions.
Who are your competitors, and how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jarosław Jasiński: Currently, there is one ski jumping project of a broader range called Ski Jump Mania, produced by the Slovakian PowerPlayStudio. However, the game does not extensively advertise in Poland, which is the world’s largest market in the field of ski jumps.
Finally, I can reveal our great secret – we are planning a revolution that will take this game to the next level. We will move from a typical browser-based production to a fully interactive version. We have received a lot of feedback from the players saying they would like to control the jumpers themselves and see them in action. Therefore, we approach those needs and keep working on the interactive version of the jumps, which will provide a completely new experience. Ski Jumps will transform from a typical manager to a ski jumper’s career development platform. Ultimately, our ambitious plan is to create a complex virtual entertainment center maintaining the ski jumping spirit to promote this incredible sports discipline in which Poland dominates the world.
Your final thoughts?
Jarosław Jasiński: The pandemic is a challenging experience for all of us, but above all, I try to think about changes and opportunities that come along. The virus is the “black swan” that changes the game’s rules and remodels the whole world’s economy. At a time like this, there will always be losers and winners. I try to look for new business opportunities to adapt to this unstable reality. It will be better to get out of this situation stronger, as a winner.
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