06/10/2020

๐ŸŽ™️ Super Rare Games - Ryan Brown Interview - "Head of Saying Stuff at Super Rare Games" ๐ŸŽ™️ @Toadsanime @SuperRareGames

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Britt: Hi Ryan! I know we’ve met at game conventions over the years but for those unfamiliar, could you give an overview of your personal gaming history and current position at Super Rare Games? 

Ryan: Absolutely - hey readers, I'm Ryan Brown, perhaps better known as Toadsanime in the gaming sphere. I'm the Head of Saying Stuff at Super Rare Games, a company that publishes a rare print physical Nintendo Switch game every 3 weeks. 

If you see newsletters, social media posts, marketing campaigns, or even press releases, that'll be from lil ol' me! I previously worked in a similar role for video game merchandise and games publisher Numskull, and as a video games journalist for The Mirror, etc.

Britt: Can you explain how Super Rare Games began and what their ethos is, perhaps what specifically drew you to joining the company? 

Ryan: George Perkins founded the company a little over two years ago when he was working for a company that ported Nintendo Switch games. Some of the earliest Super Rare Games deals were signed literally on phone calls during his lunch break there haha! I joined myself in May 2020, but had been collecting our titles since the very start. 

George and I both share identical values on video games, which is that they all deserve to be preserved for the future. Physical media is the best bet we have for that at the moment. We want to know that in 10, 20, 30 years time, you can simply pull a game from your shelf and play it. No ownership issues, no digital delisting, no licensing deals ending - it's right there, as playable as it always was. 

We also just generally love collecting, so all of our games have a lot of thought put into their cover, inlay, and cartridge art, with a full-colour manual, trading cards, sticker, and all of the content on the cart. 

Video game preservation and the risk that digital-only games pose for the future are topics I have focused on for many years before joining Super Rare Games, and thankfully it's something that many, many others care about just as much as we do.

Britt: I know it’s a small, dedicated team that sails the good ship Super Rare Games– what are the titles that the team truly hold dear? 

Ryan: Yeah, there are some games that genuinely have been signed primarily because we personally want to have physical versions of them! A recent example of that is Old School Musical, which George got really stuck into, loved, and then reached out to the developer when he'd finished it. For me, my favourite Super Rare titles so far are Snake Pass and Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime. I even sent off my copy of Super Rare's Snake Pass release for the devs to sign before I joined the company.

Britt: It’s been an ongoing discussion since the previous generation in relation to the drying up of physical media; this is especially in focus from November with the release of digital-only consoles. My view is that those that treasure physical media will continue doing so, especially for those that are collectors as well (it still burns me that I don’t own a physical copy of West of Loathing, thanks for bringing that up) do you see this the same way or do you foresee shifts in the near future? 

Ryan: I can only speak from my personal point of view here, of course, but the digital trend is ever-growing and it'll likely continue doing so. There will always be people who want physical media though, regardless of what happens in the future, and we'll be sticking with it for as long as humanly possible. Even if one-day consoles lack disc or cartridge drives, I'm sure they'll still have USB drives that we could make custom USB sticks with the game on for? Who knows! I'm confident there'll always be something, but if preservation and ownership is something people still care about, they should make sure their voices are heard.

Britt: I can see that SRG are now rapidly approaching their 50th release, it’s fantastic that you’ve engineered the release of so many indie games on physical media (we at Games Freezer also champion indie releases, they’ve personally been responsible for some of the best times I’ve had) what upcoming news or titles can we look forward to seeing from you guys? 

Ryan: We previously announced Darkwood, which is a top-down survival horror game, earlier in the year as part of our 2020 pipeline, which is still on the way. We have a total of 4 games still coming in 2020, with a break in December so people don't have to fret about securing a new rare game during the month of Christmas (and because we'd like a break too haha!)

Britt: As someone who has had a lot of experience in various facets of the gaming industry, are there any memories that really stick out for you?

Ryan: I loved my time as a video games journalist. Interviewing Tetsuya Nomura, creator of the Kingdom Hearts series, is an absolute highlight for me, as was taking part in the BAFTA Games jury earlier this year. My first ever Super Rare Games release that I worked on was Tricky Towers, so that's right up there too!

Britt: If there was one game that you could have a physical edition of, what would it be? 

Ryan: Derrick the Deathfin, PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate, NOBY NOBY BOY, and Proteus are on my personal wishlist. They're some of my favourite games from the PS3 era but I fear they'll likely forever be stuck there and will one day be lost to the digital ether. (Just to clarify, those are just some personal picks, we're not working on any of these sadly!)

Britt: Finally, whilst there is talk of an upcoming 4k Switch console, in the nearer future, will you be going with an Xbox, PS5 or neither? 

Ryan: I'd definitely pick up a 4K Switch if ever that were to happen, but I'm planning to pick up the PlayStation 5. I've never got into the Xbox ecosystem, personally, but I've always had my Nintendo and PlayStation consoles sat side by side.

Britt: Thanks very much! 

Ryan: Thanks for having me, always happy to chat about physical games! Folk should come to check us out on Twitter @SuperRareGames for giveaway opportunities, teases, reveals, and spicy, spicy memes.

https://superraregames.com/

Britt

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