Feature: Changing the game

It’s a time of great change for the Ottawa gaming company formerly known as Glitchsoft.

The company has a new name, Gigataur, and a new game, “Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions,” which Disney launched March 26.

Gigataur’s CEO, Andrew Fisher, said it was a testament to his team that the company has advanced to the point it can partner with “the biggest entertainment brand.”

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“As the CEO, I’d love to say I had a huge part in this. I rubbed some shoulders, I bought some lunches. It really was the team that made this happen,” he said.

“When you work with someone like Disney and Lucas … they don’t just work with small studios. You have to be able to fire with their level,” Fisher said. “We’ve been able to do that as part of our scaling. A lot of that came through extremely long hours of the team here getting familiarity with their processes, honing our skill set…We are now operating at that level, fully functional there, capable of producing at that level for literally anyone.”

Now that the company and its 30 staff have grown to this level, Fisher and chief creative officer Wes Tam both said a name change was necessary to reflect that.

Fisher said Glitchsoft was a great independent studio name, but the word “glitch” can have a negative connotation.

“That wasn’t how we were portraying it. Glitches in games are actually quite fun things and  people go out of their way to find them,” he said.

Tam said the company decided on the name Glitchsoft in 2009 because it was edgy and contrary to the mainstream.

“But now we’re working with a lot of triple-A brand partners, including Lucasfilm and Marvel, and again just getting to the table with these clients requires a name that resonates with these companies a little bit more,” he said. Even though the Glitchsoft name is gone, the edge can remain as the company continues pushing boundaries, he added.

Gigataur was a name that resonated with all the founders, Mr. Fisher said.

“It had the roots of the meanings of the words that we liked in terms of they were both creative and powerful,” he said, adding gigataur.com was also available.

Work on the Star Wars project began 18 months ago, and the company has tripled in size since then. Fisher said expansion is “continual,” adding Gigataur is looking at adding other satellite offices, like the one it already has in China, so it can access other critical markets in the mobile world.

The Star Wars project is not a one-shot deal. Tam said he expects Gigataur will update content in the game over the next year or two.

The Disney partnership will also open doors to more new opportunities to go along with other projects already underway, Tam and Fisher said.

“Those are things that we’re tempering because we have to manage our capacity and burnout because there have been a lot of hard hours to get us to this date, but we do, we have a whole bunch of (other opportunities) and we’re starting to figure out which ones we want to prioritize as a team and we will continue to execute on those,” Fisher said.

“We really have to choose the right one for us. It’s a little hard when you just come off working on your dream project … to choose what’s the next ‘passion’ one we want to go after,” he said. “We are chasing some of those. At the same time, there’s ones that we think might be more strategic.”

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