East Side Games Stays Small, Just the Way They Like It

Some game developers might blush at making about a game about the often off-colour adventures of the Trailer Park Boys but not Vancouver’s East Side Games.

For the maker of titles like Pot Farm, it was a perfect fit.

“In terms of culture, we really couldn’t have picked a better partnership in terms of a fit for our studio,” says Lidi Giroux, East Side Games manager of team and culture. “The games that we make are very much in that style and we’re really excited to be working with them.”

The studio take a lot of pride in its independence.

RELATED: East Side Games is Hiring at Techfest Toronto on September 29, 2016

“As a studio we’re not afraid to do our own thing, and being fully bootstrapped we’re not reliant on any sort of partnerships or publishers or anything, so I think that really gives us the freedom to have a lot of fun here in what we make,” says Giroux. “I think that carries over to what it’s like to work here, we have a lot of autonomy.”

While a game like Pot Farm might seem a little cheeky, it’s serious business.

“Our legacy game Pot Farm, which is a social game on Facebook, has a really dedicated community, some of whom have been playing for five years, since the game began. In games time, that’s 1,000 years,” says Giroux. “From that community, we were able to launch our mobile  game under the same IP with the same dedicated, passionate group of fans. I think that’s probably our greatest strength, and what we rely on, is being able to use that fan-base to create excitement for our all our new projects.”

The company is pretty committed to staying small.

“We’re currently around 55,” says Courtney Inman, East Side Games’ HR manager. “We actually don’t want to exceed 60 people … we do like that small, or I guess mid-sized, studio vibe—it allows us to move quickly, it allows us to ship games faster, it keeps the culture the same.”

Still, the studio is still hiring at the moment.

“We want the people we hire to be very self-starting, very entrepreneurial, we don’t tend to hold a lot of hands here, so we want the people to be able to jump right in, be able to figure things out right away,” Giroux says.