Yorkshire video games developer to expand after £230m float

Team17 focuses on premium, rather than free to play games, and its portfolio includes the iconic and well-established Worms franchise
Team17 focuses on premium, rather than free to play games, and its portfolio includes the iconic and well-established Worms franchise
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The founder of video games developer Team17 said the firm’s flotation is great news for its Yorkshire employees and promised to expand its operations in the region.

The Wakefield-based firm, which is best known for its hit game Worms, will be valued at between £200m and £230m when it floats later this month.

​Debbie Bestwick, founder and CEO of Team17, said the firm is committed to its Yorkshire headquarters and it will keep its head office in Wakefield after the float.

“We absolutely plan to expand Wakefield,” she told The Yorkshire Post.

“This float is really important to maintain our independence. It’s very good news for our employees and our team has been incredibly supportive.”

Team17 is a leading video games label and creative partner for independent developers around the world.

The group focuses on premium, rather than free to play games, and its portfolio includes over 90 games, including the iconic and well-established Worms franchise, as well as Overcooked and The Escapists.

​“​This flo​tation​ is​​ about building our brand on a global basis,” said Ms Bestwick.

“It’s also a way to incentivise people.”

The firm employs 120 people in Wakefield and a further 20 in the Midlands and the plan is to increase the headcount as the firm expands.

​The float will only be available to institutional investors, but the firm believes customers will be keen to buy shares after the firm launches on AIM.

​Team17 offers a range of resources to development partners​ and​ has built an award​-​winning in-house team in Wakefield.

The ​firm ​said it ​is able to tailor its level of engagement with developers and creators to deliver a bespoke service to each of its partners.

Since launching its premium games label in 2014, Team17 has delivered a revenue ​compound annual growth rate of 69 per cent, with revenues increasing to £29.6m last year from £13.5m in 2016 and adjusted earnings rising from £6.1m to £12.9m in 2017.

The ​group has an international footprint and ​said it has ​a diverse revenue base, with no ​dependency on a ​single title​ ​or sales platform​. It also has an experienced management team led ​Ms Bestwick, who has over​ ​30 years of experience in the gaming sector. ​The s​enior management team ​has​ over 140 years’ combined experience and ​said it has built up ​strong relationships​ ​across all key platforms including Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Steam, Apple and Google​.

The firm added that it has a strong pipeline of new game launches planned for 2018, ​such as Yoku’s Island Express, Genesis​ ​Alpha One, Raging Justice, My Time at Portia, Planet Alpha, Forged Battalion​.

The global gaming market was valued at ​£77​​bn in 2017, and is projected to grow at 7.3​ per cent​​ ​​compound annual growth rate from 2017 to 2021.​

​​M​s​ Bestwick​‘s stake will be worth a​round £100m when the company floats ​and she intends to sell up to 50​ per cent​ of it in the flotation.