Deep Silver and the upside of being a private company

Jeff Grubb has a great article over at GamesBeat about Deep Silver, the private European publisher that purchased the Saints Row and Metro 2033 franchises from THQ:

Most publishers are publicly traded corporations. They answer to shareholders who demand constant growth. Deep Silver is at odds with that typical structuring. Two people, Kundratitz and Franz Koch, own all of Deep Silver (and its parent company Koch Media). Rather than pleasing a large group of investors who only really care about the bottom line, Deep Silver is much more limber because it’s only concerned with those top two individuals.

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It’s odd that a game company would hold up delivering what “gamers love” as something that makes it different. At the same time, gamers have a deep dislike for public corporations like EA that seem to put shareholder needs ahead of gamers. If Deep Silver doesn’t have to answer to a board concerned solely with a return on investment, maybe that really does make it different. And maybe that’s the publisher we need.

I spent last summer working for a private real estate development company owned by one person. It’s amazing how a company’s culture is affected by its structure – we had no shareholders to keep happy other than the guy in charge. That meant the only factor we ever had to consider was whether the work we were doing matched the quality he expected.

On that note, here’s a Branch conversation about Apple taking itself private. 

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