Visual Science, Scotland's largest independent games developer today announced record results for its 2003 trading year. Turnover increased by 110% on 2002 results to a record Â£2.8 million for 2003. The company also recorded a pre tax profit of Â£100,000.
Based in Dundee, Visual Science was started by Russell Kay over 10 years ago. 2003 saw a change in strategy for the developer, which had largely been exclusive to Electronic Arts, developing the critically acclaimed Formula 1 series of games. 2003 saw the company launch its last F1 game; F1 Career Challenge.
A flurry of new business saw Visual Science contracted for the creation of the two-player co-op version of Medal of Honor: Rising Sun, the UK Christmas Number One plus the development of Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup on Xbox and PC. Both titles were published by EA and, to date, have sold in excess of 6 million units.
The company also executed its strategy to work with additional publishing companies. By mid 2003 the company had fought off tough international competition to secure a development deal with SCi Games Ltd (SEG) for work on a major project which remains unannounced at this time.
In addition to the growth in new projects, the company also underwent major staffing changes and expansion in 2003. Andy Campbell ex MD of the Glasgow based Red Lemon Studios joined the company in late 2002. In early 2003, Andy was appointed to the Board as Commercial Director and is responsible for the direction and management of all corporate aspects of the business, freeing Russell Kay, MD, to focus on direction and management of all game projects in development. The Board also appointed Tim Christian, ex-MD of Microprose and Hasbro Interactive as non-executive Chairman at the same time. Staff numbers rose from 38 to 75 in the year and, most significantly the company established an office in the US, based in Los Angeles.
"2003 was a real turnaround year for the company" explains Andy Campbell, Commercial Director. "For the last few years we had kept our head down fulfilling our commitments to EA on the Formula 1 games. We have an excellent team in Dundee, a wonderful reputation in the industry and a track record for solid delivery. 2003 saw the company capitalising on that position, recording results across the board. We want to stay very focused on continuing this upward motion and 2004 is already looking set to smash the 2003 performance. We're also actively looking to recruit new people and new teams now as we expand our business again as a result of even more new contract wins."