Piotr Babieno: Proficiency in Developing Psychological Horror Games

Piotr Babieno | Founder and Chairman
Piotr Babieno | Founder and Chairman

The gaming industry has witnessed remarkable growth and transformation over the past decade. With advancements in technology and increasing demand from a vast and diverse audience, game developers have been pushed to explore new genres and create immersive experiences. Within this landscape, Bloober Team, a renowned game development studio, has emerged as a trailblazer in the realm of psychological horror games. Led by its visionary Founder and Chairman, Piotr Babieno, the company has captivated players worldwide with its unique approach to storytelling and atmospheric set-pieces.

Within the gaming industry, the horror genre has always been an enticing yet challenging space to navigate. Bloober Team’s expertise lies in developing horror games with mature storylines, pushing the boundaries of psychological terror. Their games offer players an intense, immersive experience that blends haunting narratives, atmospheric environments and thought-provoking themes. By delving deep into the human psyche and exploring intricate character development, Bloober Team has carved out a distinctive space in the gaming sector.

Bloober Team, a Poland-based game development studio, was established by Piotr. Inspired by his lifelong passion for gaming, Piotr embarked on a journey to create his own games, aiming to contribute to an industry that was rapidly emerging in Poland. Assembling a team of talented individuals who shared his vision, Piotr set the stage for what would become an influential force in the gaming world.

Let’s discuss the transformation of the Bloober Team with evolving gaming industry!

The Visionary Founder and Chairman

Piotr has always been deeply connected to the world of games. While initially pursuing a career in marketing research and journalism, Piotr’s unwavering love for gaming led him to chase his dream.

Emphasizing this, Piotr says, “At the initial stage of my career, I was doing something completely different, for e.g., worked in marketing research or as a journalist. But I’ve always been a big fan of games, and I was up to date with the industry that was just emerging in Poland.

With the necessary resources at hand, he made the crucial decision to create his own game, marking the beginning of his extraordinary journey with the Bloober Team.

Talking about his journey and stepping into the gaming industry, Piotr states, “From my first console game, I wanted to create my own game, so you could say it’s always been my big dream. When I gathered enough funds, I decided that this is the time. Together with some great people, we decided that we wanted to create a game, and that’s how our adventure with Bloober Team began.

Bloober Team has carved out a prominent place in the gaming industry through its innovative approach to psychological horror games. With their distinct storytelling, immersive experiences and commitment to creative freedom, Bloober Team continues to push boundaries, leaving an indelible mark on the gaming world. As they embark on their ambitious Bloober 3.0 strategy, the company is poised to solidify its position as a leader in the horror genre and shape the future of interactive entertainment.

Unearthing Unique Concepts: Psychological Horror and Atmospheric Set-Pieces

It’s been a long journey for the Bloober Team, not without its fair share of challenges. Initially unsure of their strengths as game developers, the team took a step back after an early game received negative reception. Piotr shares, “In the beginning, we didn’t really know how to make games, and we didn’t know what we were good at.”

He adds, “When our Basement Crawl was considered the worst game on PS4, we had to take a few steps back and think about which direction we should go.” Through careful analysis and introspection, they discovered their unique talent for psychological horror and storytelling through environmental immersion. This realization paved the way for their distinctive approach, characterized by mature storylines, intricate character development and meticulously crafted atmospheric set pieces.

Balancing Innovation and Creativity as a Game Development Studio

Piotr faces the significant challenge is choosing the right path and sticking to it. Many companies failed because they easily changed their approach and strategies in order to be up-to-date. In an industry known for its rapid changes and evolving trends, Bloober Team stands firm in its strategic direction. By staying true to its artistic vision while considering the commercial aspect, the company has found a delicate balance that allows for creative freedom while also ensuring commercial success.

Piotr’s remark on employee culture at Bloober Team, “When it comes to maintaining creativity and innovation in the team, they try to give our employees the freedom to create and not limit them. Of course, it’s not like they suddenly can do everything, but we listen to all ideas, whether they come from a director or a junior. Thanks to this, we have a wide cross-section of ideas, and at the same time, the whole team has a real impact on the games.

Creating Games that Exceed Expectations: The Role of a Talented Team

Piotr proudly shares, I work with a team of absolutely best people, including enthusiasts and experts at the same time. I always say that the right people in the right place are key to success.

Piotr emphasizes the importance of having the right people in the right positions, a key factor in the team’s ability to consistently deliver high-quality games. By studying the market and understanding player expectations, the team creates games that resonate with their target audience.

By fostering a collaborative environment and encouraging all team members to contribute ideas, Bloober Team ensures that every voice is heard and that its games consistently meet and exceed expectations.

Differentiating Factors: Standing Out in the Horror Genre

Bloober Team’s horror games possess a unique quality that sets them apart from other titles in the genre. By tackling significant and thought-provoking themes, the company aims to initiate meaningful discussions among players. The immersive nature of horror games allows Bloober Team to convey intense emotions and create a cathartic experience for players, making their titles memorable and impactful.

Piotr expresses, “Our games are a field for discussion. We want to raise important, significant topics which cause discussion. We like to encourage players to think about their choices and analyze their next steps. We use horror to convey as much emotion as possible because horror is a highly immersive genre.

Achieving a Balance between Artistic Vision and Commercial Success

Bloober Team is evolving with the rapidly changing world. The team at Bloober Team places great importance on maintaining their artistic vision while considering commercial success.

With a focus on storytelling, the company seeks to create games that captivate players and stand on their own merits. Piotr says, “First of all, we focus on our artistic vision and ideas because we believe that a good game will defend itself.

Being a large listed company, they also understand the need to adapt to market trends and financial realities. As the company transitions into Bloober 3.0, they are dedicated to incorporating gameplay elements and broadening its audience by appealing to action-loving horror gamers by encouraging modern gamers, including those who like action-packed horror games. This, in Piotr’s opinion, is this balance of artistic vision and commercial success.

Prioritizing Features and Meeting Player Expectations

When developing a game, Bloober Team takes a meticulous approach to prioritize features and ensure they align with player expectations. The decision-making process involves multiple individuals to increase objectivity and draws upon market research and analysis. By examining successful elements from other games while considering their own strengths and vision, Bloober Team strives to create a well-rounded experience that resonates with its target audience.

Piotr says, “We try to look at the market, other games and their reception, and we analyze what works, what doesn’t work, what has the best chance of success and at the same time best suits us and our game.

Words of Wisdom for Aspiring Game Developers

Piotr Babieno shares valuable advice for aspiring game developers looking to make their mark in the industry. He says, “Above all, be persistent and believe in yourself.” He emphasizes the importance of persistence, self-belief and having a clear vision for both their game and their company.

There will certainly be moments of doubt, and the most important thing is not to give up. It is also important to have a specific idea for your game and your company; with a clearly defined strategy, it is much easier to achieve a specific goal. With a well-defined strategy and unwavering dedication, aspiring developers can overcome challenges and achieve their goals.

A Long-Term Vision for Bloober Team

Bloober Team envisions itself as a company that will endure for decades rather than being confined to short-term goals. With its Bloober 3.0 strategy, the company aims to solidify its position as a leader and enter the third stage in the horror genre by 2027.

The strategy focuses on combining psychological horror with action elements, expanding through partnerships and fostering creative freedom within the team. By setting ambitious yet achievable goals, Bloober Team is determined to shape the future of the gaming industry.

The Evolving Landscape of the Gaming Industry

Looking ahead to the next 5-10 years, Piotr anticipates further advancements and evolution within the gaming industry. He says, “5 or 10 years is a lot for this industry because it is changing so rapidly.”

He adds, “We can see what progress game developers are making, even from year to year. This is extremely inspiring.

According to Piotr, games are expected to become even more immersive, and developers will explore new avenues beyond traditional gaming experiences. Bloober Team’s own strategy for 2023-2027 aligns with this vision as they seek to leverage the broad possibilities offered by the horror genre.

Ensuring Work-Life Balance: The Key to Employee Satisfaction

Bloober Team recognizes the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance for its employees. Acknowledging that people are the heart of the company, they prioritize the needs of their team members.

Piotr expresses, “We believe that focusing on employees and their needs is the key to the success of the entire company. We make every effort to eliminate popularity in our industry crunch. We want work to be a pleasure, not a chore, which is why we focus on freedom. Talents need room to bloom.”

With employees all over the world, and Bloober Team accept all possible forms of cooperation, from completely stationary to completely remote. Once a year, it organizes an integration trip so that the whole team can meet each other.  And of course, on many other occasions when the opportunity strikes, the team is open to meeting in a smaller or larger group.

Piotr says, “I believe that such a lot of freedom allows you to maintain a work-life balance. People need three things-purpose, tools and trust. We are trying to give them all of this. Plus, our past mistakes have taught us how to get better at avoiding them. But the most important thing is the spirit of the company, and I think that at Bloober, it is our USP. There is no other organization like ours.

The company strives to eliminate “crunch” periods, offering flexibility in work arrangements and providing ample opportunities for team members to connect and build relationships. By fostering a supportive and inclusive environment, Bloober Team ensures that its employees can maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life.

Exciting Projects on the Horizon

Bloober Team has several exciting projects in the pipeline. They are currently working on SILENT HILL 2 in collaboration with Konami and developing their own IP, Project C, in partnership with Private Division (Take-Two Interactive). Additionally, the company is actively seeking industry collaborations to diversify its portfolio and explore new creative horizons.

Piotr says, “We combine our knowledge and tools with other experts to create interesting things together.” Bloober Team’s commitment to forging unique partnerships has led to collaborations with studios such as Anshar Studios, Draw Distance and Rouge Games, as well as a venture beyond gaming with Platige Image to create a series based on The Medium.