We talked to Manfred Lamplmair of Rudy Games on how they change the way we play and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Manfred Lamplmair: Our team, my family, and I’m OK thanks, hope all of you too! At Rudy Games, we are pleased that none of our family or friends are infected. After the summer, we switched back to a home office and took care of all government recommendations.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Rudy Games.
Manfred Lamplmair: Gerti, Reini, and I are friends since our childhood. We love to play together, no matter if it is a computer game or a board game. We always asked ourselves how we could combine the digital and physical gaming world at its best. A few years ago, we decided to found our game studio Rudy Games, where we exactly do that: Combining digital and physical gaming!
How does Rudy Games innovate?
Manfred Lamplmair: At Rudy Games, we develop so-called hybrid games and toys. That means we combine physical game elements with the interactive power of an app. Via the App, we learn about how people interact with the game and directly connect to them. The App adopts the game content automatically to the age and place of each player. An 8-year-old child gets content other than a grown-up, so it is fun and challenging for everyone.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Manfred Lamplmair: Because of the coronavirus, people stay more at home, so they are seeking spare time activities for the whole family which they can do at home. Playing games is one of those activities, and we have the perfect products for that. Since the corona pandemic, they play four times more of our games than before. Our distribution is also affected by the coronavirus because stores are closed, people buy more and more online.
We get a lot of support from our community, so we decided to give something back so that people could play our digital expansions for free during the lockdown.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Manfred Lamplmair: There was a lot of uncertainty in dealing with the pandemic and how the virus will affect our business. In Austria, we had the first lockdown around the Easter season, and now in the Xmas season, we made around 70% of our revenue. We produce in China, so the first question was, will we get our products on time? The next question was, where to sell our products, just online? And what about the global economy? Will people still spend money on games and toys? And so on. There are still many unanswered questions, and we will see what will happen in the future.
We have learned that we have to stay healthy together, that we have to move fast, that we still have to fail and learn quickly from our mistakes. This pandemic is also a big booster for digitalization everywhere.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and Rudy Games in the future?
Manfred Lamplmair: We take care of an excellent work-life balance. Especially before the release of a new game, it isn’t always that easy. I love cinema and CrossFit because of the pandemic. Both are not possible at the moment. Usually, I visit board game cafes and play with friends, but this is also on pause. So I play more at home and a little bit more online.
Your final thoughts?
Manfred Lamplmair: I wish you all a Merry Xmas and a happy new year. I hope all of you are safe and stay healthy! And of course, I hope we will get back to our everyday life in 2021.