Written by Maikel de Bakker and Maurice van der Goor
“Hey, what’s this weird banner doing here?” you might think. “Haven’t I seen it before?” Yes you have, me and Maikel wrote the previous interview with the Ankama studios developers and we’re the ones doing it this time around as well.
We once more set off on Maikel’s motor bike leaving the office of NiSuTe Europe in Tilburg, crossing the Belgium border on our way to the next. And yet again, we lost our way in Belgium (why can’t they put the signs at the right place?) so after a small detour we arrived at the French border. Our travel from there on was without any problems, thus we finally arrived at Ankama Studios.
This time the interview was mainly hosted by 3 of Ankama’s Employees: Thomas Bahon, Cédric Gerard and Micheal Thant. After a quick tour through their new office we had a chat with them. Every now and then an employee of Ankama would come and have a seat with us so that we could ask them specific questions about the department they’re responsible of. The questioned departments were: Development, Artist/Animation and Music. The full interview took us 6 hours so be ready to read a lot of information in this article.
Well Ankama has moved. Previously they were cramped up in 4 tiny offices trying to do their work in a building they had to share with some other small companies. Nowadays though, they found a nice new location fully for themselves. This new location is situated in an old textile factory. The offices are located at the first half of the 1st floor and the employees are already working there in full glory at their new location. Even some desk decoration is already popping up here and there. The rest of the old factory is still being renovated. But if Ankama keeps growing at the pace they currently are, that space will soon be needed for new office usage. Currently, Ankama has 80 Employees working for them and if everything goes well they will reach 90 by the end of this month. And to give you a small idea of how fast they’re actually growing, when we did the last interview, their employee total was 40.
Between this interview and the previous one allot has changed for Ankama as well; as told in previous article they’re still working on projects for other companies and the demand for them is rising as well. Unfortunately Ankama is not allowed to tell us for whom they are working. They also have an animation section. This animation section is working for their current new project: Wakfu. But they are also trying to create a real TV animation series about the Dofus/Wakfu Universe.
Ever since Ankama started creating games they were passionate about gaming and that might be why the games at Ankama have this special feeling about them. “We’re talking about the special feeling gamers get with both gaming classics and innovative new games.” At Ankama they believe that the selection and hiring of passionate new personnel for their games contributes to this development – and so do we. We hope that Ankama won’t do what we have seen happen in so many other development teams and lose their passion to satisfy the majority of the players – but by the looks of it, they are trying their best not to.
Ankama is also working to increase its relations with other countries. They admit their current advertising was directed almost to France only. This is about to change. In a short period of time they will start big advertising projects in the UK, under the supervision of Michel. If those are a success they are planning to advertise in Germany, Spain, Netherlands and maybe even the US. They aren’t planning to do all of these advertising campaigns at the same time so their servers can keep up with the increase of the user base. And if the advertising is successful enough, every country that had advertising will get its own separate server. Specific servers will be progressively put in place for the various countries, regardless of any advertising campaign.
Anyway this was the information about Ankama studios’ current status and their near future; now it’s time to reveal to you some stuff about their games.
Let’s start with Dofus… Ah bummer, I reached my word limit for today’s article… Maybe I will write about that information next time. *evil smirk*