Jumpgate, LEGO Universe, and Gazillion - An Exclusive Interview with Scott Brown

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This morning, various publications across the Internet (including Ten Ton Hammer) were picking up on the news that Gazillion was emerging as a major publisher of MMOs, with a Marvel Universe MMO clearly in the works. On top of that, NetDevil and their two upcoming games, LEGO Universe and Jumpgate Evolution, would now be a part of Gazillion Entertainment. But what does this mean for the upcoming release of JGE? Ten Ton Hammer sat down with NetDevil's president, Scott Brown, to find out more. Thankfully, the news is good, so make sure you keep reading!

Ten Ton Hammer: Congratulations! I bet you're really excited about this entire process.

Scott Brown: The whole deal actually went down last summer, so it's really business as usual for us now.

Ten Ton Hammer: Why'd the announcement take so long to come into the public eye?

Scott: Gazillion had a plan concerning how they wanted to come out and be public. They wanted to line a lot of stuff up, so they could really come out with a bang.

Ten Ton Hammer: What does this mean for Jumpgate Evolution and LEGO Universe?

Scott: The big thing this means is that we get to focus more on our games, rather than on operations and finance, which is awesome. Those things aren't our skill set. From the business sense, it simply means what it always means: that we have time and money to do things the right way. The Jumpgate team has already significantly grown since the deal was made. It already means that we have a better team. Not only do we not have to spend our time trying to build the best customer service platform and the billing system put together, it also means that we've hired more people.

Ten Ton Hammer: I'm guessing that Codemasters is still going to be involved in the process then?

Scott: Yes. None of that has changed. Codemasters is doing both North American and European distribution, and they're basically doing "operations" in Europe, while we're doing it here.

Ten Ton Hammer: So where does Gazillion come into the picture?

Scott: They're going to be doing customer service, hosting, and billing. The reality is...they're the reason we've been able to do this all along. They have a lot of expertise involved with making this happen.

It's been outstanding. They're just bringing a lot to the table.

Ten Ton Hammer: So how did the deal come about?

Scott: We were getting bigger, things were getting a bit beyond my ability to personally finance the company. So we started looking at options. We asked ourselves, "How is this going to work?"

At the same time, we had met these guys and had been sharing ideas. We actually met in China originally, of all places. We just hit it off as two guys running similarly sized game companies. The idea of this whole enterprise really just came out of our similarities and a suggestion rather than a big "we're in acquisition mode" purchase.

These guys aren't really like that mega-company mentality at all. We finally had someone that could empower us in the VC part of things. They're just a little different kind of company; they're a very cool, unique style of company.

Ten Ton Hammer: Have you seen the other games that Gazillion is working on?

Scott: Oh yeah.

Ten Ton Hammer: Pretty cool?

Scott: Amazing. Really, really cool stuff under development.

And there's so much stuff that isn't announced either. They're really serious about being an online entity. They want to do what's right and cover all the bases. Good guys.

Ten Ton Hammer: What else would you like to tell Ten Ton Hammer readers and JGE and LEGO fans?

Scott: I think it's important to know that this just insures that Jumpgate has whatever it needs to succeed. They've worked closely with Codemasters and LEGO to make sure they're a strong fit with both companies.

It may seem like a rush of information, but this was a long time in the making. They worked with all our partners to make sure, in every way, they could make things better.

The other important thing to note is that this deal is already a success. It's already been almost a year. We can almost talk in hindsight about this being a good relationship.
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