Stupid Stupid Games makes a name for itself
Why start small, when you can introduce a world filled with games, books, comics and endless stories?
A few years ago, as aspiring fantasy and speculative fiction author Jussi Kyrönseppä’s fourth decade of existence was drawing to a close, so too appeared a brick wall of reality.
“I was progressing as a writer, but I wasn’t as good as I hoped I would be,” he recalls. “Basically every time I should have been writing, I was playing games. I really wanted to do games. I loved them, but I didn’t have the confidence. I figured you had to do technological mumbo jumbo and know people.”
Nonetheless, taking to heart the old adage that “life begins at 40”, Kyrönseppä figured it was now or never. He promptly enrolled to university to pursue his dream.
Agent of change
As fate would have it, Kyrönseppä met some of his future Stupid Stupid Games colleagues during the first week of his studies. Brought together by the common goal of founding a company, they began tapping into the vast expanses of his imagination.
However, it soon became apparent that the ideas within couldn’t be restrained by a sole format. Rather than focus their creative energies on one game or book, they decided to emulate the likes of Marvel, DC Comics and Star Wars and create a universe. Or, in industry terms, intellectual property (IP), that would encompass characters, stories, names, places and the brand itself.
Yet, whereas these franchises gradually prised open the possibilities created by success in a particular format, their world would be immediately renderable across practically any type of game or story platform.
But, whenever the students sought guidance for which step to take towards building their IP, they repeatedly came up empty handed.
“There’s nothing, not a single book or article on the topic,” Kyrönseppä states. “So, I ended up doing the research myself, studying comic books, toys and stuff.”
A stupid idea?
Listening to Kyrönseppä describe the end result, it’s clear his quest for knowledge was worth it. Agents of Armageddon intertwines elements of Heaven and Hell, rebirth and reincarnation, and a Lovecraftian monster. One intriguing story arc sees Satan’s son, dubbed Johnny Graves, spurning the family trade and living a simple life of leisure. Needless to say, Dad’s not too impressed with this turn of events.
On the contrary, many have been very enthusiastic about what Stupid Stupid Games is setting out to achieve. Now graduated, the company boasts over 20 employees and has successfully closed an equity crowdfunding round at Invesdor. Meanwhile, their first game is being released, having received the green light from Steam.
As the wind fills the company’s sails, Kyrönseppä is adamant about breaking new ground with this all-in approach.
“If you have a scalable IP you need to prove that it can be scaled,” he declares. “If it’s something innovative, something that others have not figured out yet, how would you prove it if you don’t actually do it?
Finally, in the face of all this bold trailblazing, one has to ask: What’s up with the ‘stupids’? Whilst the word itself holds few positive connotations, when presented back-to-back, one begins to ponder the possibility of harnessing the power of double negatives.
“The name is ironic,” Kyrönseppä admits, with a smile. “It’s a safety valve as well. We can do stupid stuff, because we don’t call ourselves stupid for nothing.” [laughs]
Could it also be that ‘Pioneering Pioneering Games’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it?
Text: James O’Sullivan