Jesús Bosch Ayguadé of Starloop Studios tells us about a one-stop studio for game development outsourcing.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jesús Bosch Ayguadé: Everyone is fine. We are following the authorities recommendations, and are lucky to be able to work from home.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Starloop Studios.
Jesús Bosch Ayguadé: I founded this company in 2011. I participated in a game development contest, I appeared in a local newspaper, and I got a call from a small group of investors. We built this company a few months later. Earlier in 2019, the company was sold to a Private Equity fund.
How does Starloop Studios innovate?
Jesús Bosch Ayguadé: We innovate in processes and by developing new products or services. In the first case, we started to apply automation in many company processes in 2020, from Administration to HR and Marketing and Sales. But the most important aspect is an open-minded attitude towards changing what has been done during years. We tend to adapt and apply changes.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jesús Bosch Ayguadé: In purely financial terms, the fact that people spend more time in front of screens is beneficial for our industry (video games). But there are of course main challenges: everyone is working from home since March 2020, and there is a challenge on keeping the humanity of relations inside the organization, to onboard properly the new team members, etc.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Jesús Bosch Ayguadé: Before the pandemic, a few people were already working from home, so our transition has been probably smoother than it has been for more traditional companies. We already had a chat tool that we would use to communicate. Different departments have their own channels to have focused discussions, but there are also general channels, events-related channels, and even offtopic channels to try to feed human relations between our companies.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jesús Bosch Ayguadé: This is a global service, and competitors are everywhere. That means that the competition may come in the form of much lower costs since some of these companies can be located in countries where the cost of living is very low. We cannot compete in price. Since we create video games, we need to deliver top-quality games, make sure they become successful in the market for our clients. Our clients’ success is our own success: it causes customers to keep requiring our services and also recommending us.
Your final thoughts?
Jesús Bosch Ayguadé: The gaming industry cannot benefit forever from the pandemic. Many people have lost their jobs and have lower incomes. But we are optimistic, and we expect that by summer the vaccines should be able to decrease the curve of infection rates, and by the end of this year we should have something close to back to normal. Many things have changed forever, and the digitalization will have accelerated in one year what would otherwise have taken probably a decade.