Oak Games

Oak Games Mobile Ltd was formed by Dave and Sian Walker back in 2005 (originally called Oak Systems Leisure Software, then Oak Games Ltd). Based on the Isle of Wight, UK, we are a small company that makes big games. 

2020 and in lockdown, finally a bit of time to update the website. Here's a potted history of Oak Systems Leisure Software, later Oak Games and later still Oak Games Mobile.  The highs and lows, hits and turkeys when you go it alone and risk it all in the games industry.  Saying that, it's been the best!!

Dave and I first met in 1999 when he interviewed me for a job which I didn't get.  We did end up working for the same company a year later. We worked on the same team on some pretty dull projects for the pharmaceutical industry.  We didn't even get on that well at first, but then we became really good friends and I have to say he is the cleverest man I have ever met.  Even though I left the company in 2003 we kept in touch.  In 2005 after a visit to my parents house and noticing this new Sudoku craze in the newspaper I called Dave and said "Do you think you could make a sudoku game".  "WTF is Sudoku he replied".  He made the game in a couple of weeks after work at his day job. Our first baby was named Sudoku Works.

I was a traditionalist and was all for selling it as boxed CDs and posting it, but Dave had already been dabbling with little apps and had been putting them on these new things called download sites!!  Well it was a hit, 5,7,9,17 downloads and rising each day and it kept rising.  Dave got a call from Tony Hughes the MD at Mindscape in Australia and he offered us our first publisher contract for Australia and NZ territories. it went out as a boxed PC game to retail outlets in the territory that Autumn. It was the top selling game in Australia for 2005, the Christmas hit. Tony knew how to pick a winner and we will always be thankful to him for our first break in the industry. Cheers Tony. 

the developers took a very small cut with publishers, they did shift lots of units (we don't know we are born today with Play, Apple and Facebook only taking a 30% cut).  The retail outlets such as HMV, Game, Woolworths, Walmart, Tesco would take the lion share 40-50%, the distributors would take about 10-20, the publisher about 25% 30% and we'd take about 5-10% it was a tough business but the games went out at £9.99 at first so if everybody did their job right we all made money.  

introduced us to Mindscape in Europe, based in France who offered us a deal to get a Kakuro game out ASAP, as the appetite for Japanese type puzzle games was keen at the time.  

put forward the idea to Mindscape of doing a deal or no deal game as Dave and I had both visited with parents over Christmas 2005 and they were all obsessed with the show.  Having got no joy from Mindscape, Dave cobbled together a quick game called Beat The Banker which we sold on Ebay with a secret download code. It made enough for us to see there was an appetite there for it but we got a cease and desist order slapped on us by Endemol for breach of copyright so that was the end of that.  Or was it?

 

  dddddd