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

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...

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, style="font-style: italic;">LEGO Universe and style="font-style: italic;">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!

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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?

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
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

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

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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?

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

Ten Ton Hammer: Pretty

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.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our LEGO Universe Game Page.

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