Devolver Digital, Inc. is an American video game publisher based in Austin, Texas, specializing in the publishing of indie games. The company was founded in June 2009 by Nigel Lowrie, Harry Miller, Graeme Struthers, Rick Stults, and Mike Wilson, five executives who had been involved with Gathering of Developers and Gamecock Media Group, which published games on developer-friendly terms, but due to the high cost associated with releasing retail games saw themselves acquired and dissolved by larger companies. To avoid this, Devolver Digital instead turned to digital distribution channels.

Devolver Digital, Inc.
Company typePublic
IndustryVideo games
FoundedJune 25, 2009; 14 years ago (2009-06-25)
  • Nigel Lowrie
  • Harry Miller
  • Graeme Struthers
  • Rick Stults
  • Mike Wilson
Area served
Key people
  • Harry Miller (CEO)
  • Daniel Widdicombe (CFO)
Number of employees
235[a] (2022)

Devolver Digital started by publishing high-definition remakes of games in the Serious Sam series. After success with these remakes and spin-off games based on the series, Devolver Digital began publishing games from other, smaller independent studios, one of the first being their breakout title, Hotline Miami. The company also operated Devolver Digital Films for film distribution, and majority-owns publisher Good Shepherd Entertainment. As of January 2020, Devolver Digital employs 20 people. The company went public on the Alternative Investment Market in November 2021. The company is primarily owned by Miller, Struthers and Lowrie themselves, with minority stakes by NetEase and Sony Interactive Entertainment.



Founding and initial development (2009–2012)

Wilson (pictured in 2022) co-founded Devolver Digital in 2009 and led it until 2017

Devolver Digital was founded in Austin, Texas, by Harry Miller, Rick Stults, and Mike Wilson.[2][3][4] The three had previously co-founded publishing companies Gathering of Developers in 1998, and Gamecock Media Group in 2007.[4][5][6] With both Gathering of Developers and Gamecock Media Group, the co-founders had envisioned a publishing model wherein the publisher would handle all logistical aspects of releasing a game, so that the developer could focus on developing the game itself.[5] This included offering deals wherein the developers could keep all rights to their games.[5] However, at the time of these companies' existences, the primary distribution channel for games was retail, which was very costly.[5] As a result, both companies saw themselves acquired by larger companies at some point, and were dissolved shortly thereafter.[5] Devolver Digital thus aimed at not producing games in physical forms, and instead focusing publishing efforts for digital distribution platforms, such as Steam.[5]

Devolver Digital started with six people, including the three founders, as well as founding partners Nigel Lowrie and Graeme Struthers, business partners from Gamecock.[7][5][8] The company's establishment was announced on June 25, 2009.[9][10] As the company did not occupy any office, its mailing address was that of a bird feed shop owned by Stults until 2018.[5] Their first game, announced alongside their formation, was Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter, a high-definition remake of the 2001 game Serious Sam: The First Encounter, both developed by Croteam.[6] The original Serious Sam games were published by Gathering of Developers, and Croteam had continued working with Wilson and his partners while at Gamecock Media Group.[5][6] Since Croteam's deal with Gathering of Developers allowed Croteam to retain the rights to the series, they were able to work with Devolver Digital on further titles beyond the ownership of Gathering of Developers' assets.[5][11] The partnership proved fruitful, and Croteam and Devolver Digital continued to co-operate for a high-definition remake of the second Serious Sam game, Serious Sam: The Second Encounter.[5] To avoid having to bring in investors or otherwise raise funding, Devolver Digital at first avoided signing titles other than Serious Sam.[5] The company then opted to work with smaller independent studios, such as the two-man team Vlambeer, to produces indie games based on Serious Sam.[5] Between 2011 and 2012, these partnership produced four spin-off games based on Serious Sam, known as the Serious Sam Indie Series.[12][13]

Following their success with the Serious Sam Indie Series, Devolver Digital became more open to other independent studios.[5] The company signed a few new games, but also had to reject many offers due to a lack of capacities.[5] One of the games they signed was Hotline Miami by the two-man studio Dennaton Games.[5] The game, released in 2012, became Devolver Digital's breakout hit; it received critical praise, appeared on multiple "Best of 2012" lists, and sold over 1,700,000 copies by February 2013.[14][15][16]

Growth and film distribution (2013–present)


In March 2013, at the SXSW Film Festival, Devolver Digital announced Devolver Digital Films, a film distribution subsidiary.[17][18] The partnership would be led by Devolver Digital's Wilson, alongside Andie Grace, who became vice-president of acquisitions.[18] In the films business, Wilson had previously produced the film Austin High, while Grace had held oversight roles for film projects created at the Burning Man Festival.[18] Devolver Digital cited the lack of support for independent filmmakers at the point of distribution and financial support in production as primary reason for the opening.[17]

Devolver continued to expand its publishing catalog from 2013, publishing roughly ten games per year. They have typically focused on smaller indie developers, and while they are often associated with weird and bizarre games, such as Genital Jousting, this is only by happenstance, according to Wilson.[19] Wilson withdrew from active involvement in Devolver Digital in 2017. Throughout 2020, he sold much of his stock back to the publisher and to NetEase.[7] Wilson went on to found another publisher, DeepWell Digital Therapeutics, alongside Nextern founder Ryan Douglas in March 2022.[20]

In August 2020, Devolver Digital published Mediatonic's Fall Guys. The game was commercially successful, generating $150.5 million by the end of 2020. In March 2021, Epic Games acquired Mediatonic, as part of which Devolver Digital sold all its publishing rights of certain Mediatonic games, including Fall Guys. Devolver Digital used the proceeds from the game and the rights sale for expansion, including mergers and acquisitions.[7]

The first such acquisition was Croteam in October 2020.[7][21][22] At the time, the company comprised several legal entities, which were consolidated into one entity in February 2021.[7] Devolver Digital then acquired publisher Good Shepherd Entertainment, which had previously been majority-owned by Devolver Digital's executives, in January 2021.[23][7] Subsequently, the company bought developer Nerial (the developer of the Reigns series) in April, Firefly Studios (Stronghold series) in June, and Dodge Roll (Enter the Gungeon) in July 2021.[7]

Furthermore, the company hired Daniel Widdicombe as chief financial officer in May 2021 and in the same year promoted Douglas Morin, who had joined the company as chief of staff in 2020, to chief executive officer.[7] After indicating around May 2021 that it was looking to have an initial public offering, Devolver became a public company on November 4, 2021, trading its stock under the ticker symbol DEVO on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM), a submarket of the London Stock Exchange, initially valued at £694.6 million ($950 million). At the time, that made Devolver Digital the largest American company to trade on the London Stock Exchange, and the second-largest company in value on AIM.[24][25]

In April 2023, Devolver acquired Oregon-based indie studio Doinksoft.[26] In November of the same year, Devolver acquired Washington-based indie studio System Era Softworks, known for Astroneer.[27] Morin stepped down as CEO in February 2024 and was replaced by Miller.[28]

Public appearance


Fork Parker


Devolver Digital presents Fork Parker, a fictional character, as their chief financial officer.[29][30] The character first appeared in a promotional video for Serious Sam HD: The First Encounter in August 2009.[31] A Twitter account is operated under Fork Parker's name, which, as of September 2015, has 10,000 followers.[32] He is also credited on Devolver Digital's blog posts and press releases.[29] Fork Parker is intentionally presented as satirical and inappropriate.[29][32] A game featuring the character, Fork Parker's Holiday Profit Hike was released for free on Windows and OS X in 2014; it was developed by Dodge Roll as their debut game, two years before the release of Enter the Gungeon.[33] Another game, Fork Parker's Crunch Out was developed by Mega Cat Studios for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System and released by Devolver Digital in February 2019, with all profits going to Take This, a non-profit organization for mental health in the gaming community.[34][35]

Big Fancy Press Conferences


Devolver Digital announced in May 2017 that they were to hold a press conference at the E3 2017 exhibition event.[36] The conference deviated from common practice, as it was a pre-recorded satirical video, entitled the Big Fancy Press Conference, of a supposed live show, hosted by Devolver Digital's supposed chief synergy officer Nina Struthers, played by actress Mahria Zook.[37] It included several mock announcements, such as that of a new microtransaction method where the customer could throw money at the screen to purchase items, and that of "Earliest Access", a parody on early access in which players could pre-order games that had yet to enter production.[38] The video was directed by Don Thacker, the head of film production company Imagos Films.[37]

Another Big Fancy Press Conference was held at E3 2018, with Zook reprising her role.[39][40] This show introduced on a new item called the "Lootboxcoin", a parody of both cryptocurrency and loot boxes, which was a plastic coin that had no actual value, but was made available for purchase from Devolver Digital's online store for a fluctuating price.[39][40] The presentation explicitly stated that the coin was not a cryptocurrency, should not be considered currency and warned viewers that they could not buy anything with it.[39][40]

Devolver Digital held another Big Fancy Press Conference at E3 2019, revealing a direct-to-consumer "Devolver Direct" video (its name and format being a parody of Nintendo Direct).[41][42] The show contained several announcements for actual games, including Devolver Bootleg, a collection of games parodying other games published by Devolver Digital.[42] The game was released alongside the announcement, at a 1% discount.[43] The music for the three conferences was composed by John Robert Matz; a compilation album, titled Devolver Digital Cinematic Universe: Phase 1 (Original Soundtrack), was released through label Materia Collective in June 2019.[44]

A second "Devolver Direct" was held on July 12, 2020.[45] Alongside several game announcements (Both real and fake), Mock interviews with game characters and prominent industry figures, the Direct had frequent cutaways to the ongoing storyline established in past Devolver Directs: As characters try to save Nina who has been enslaved and transformed into a "Trans-interlocal Broadcast Conduit" from which she hosts the Directs against her will.[46] The show culminates with the announcement of Devolverland Expo Simulator, a first person "Marketing Simulator" designed to replace the then cancelled E3 expo of that year.[47][48]

During the E3 2021 Digital expo, Devolver held another Livestream. Stepping back from the ongoing storyline, this stream instead focused on the employees of Devolver themselves as they announced the satirical "Devolver MaxPass+" Subscription service.[49] A free "Monetization as a Service" that gave consumers access to purchase their games. Designed to poke fun at the rise of subscription services such as Xbox Game Pass that year, the service did not provide any tangible benefit to users and couldn't actually be purchased.[50]

For the 2022 Summer Game Fest, Devolver hosted the "Devolver Digital Marketing Countdown to Marketing", hosted by "MechaSuda" (A Max Headroom style video of Goichi Suda played on a screen inside a mechanical robot suit).[51] The stream begins with almost a full minute of Suda just slowly counting down in seconds, until he is interrupted by Nina. Five game trailers are then shown in total, while the characters panic about an impending "Video Game Singularity": Caused by the repeated mergers of various large-scale videogame companies over the course of the last year.[52] The stream ends with MechaSuda making a wish on a Lootboxcoin, rewinding time back to the start of the conference, then self destructing.

At the 2023 Summer Game Fest, Devolver Digital presented a showcase titled "Devolver Direct: The Return of Volvy," with creative direction by Joe Pelling, renowned for his creation of "Don't Hug Me I'm Scared."[53][54] Pelling took on the roles of writer and director for this 20-minute event, which was produced by Blink Ink.[55][56] The showcase distinguished itself by combining mockumentary-style footage with the narrative of a live event, ultimately culminating in an unexpected turn of events where the presentation spiraled into chaos. This creative twist highlighted the announcement of Devolver's latest game trailers, featuring the resurgence of 'Volvy,' Devolver's nostalgic nod to classic 90s game mascots, akin to Sonic and Mario, through game sequences from developers such as Nomada, No Brakes Games, Massive Monster Studios, and Dead Toast Entertainment.[57][58] The presentation was recognized by Vimeo, which awarded it as one of the "Best Branded Staff Picks of 2023."[59][60]

Corporate affairs


As of January 2020, the company employs 20 people, all of whom work remotely.[5][61][62] These included event planning team and staff focused on bringing the company's games to China, though this was later shut down.[5][19] One key hire was vice-president of mobile publishing Mark Hickey in December 2018, who had been the business manager for Apple Inc.'s App Store.[63][64]

Devolver Digital operates a film distribution arm, Devolver Digital Films, which was established in 2013.[17][18] The company also owns another publisher, Good Shepherd Entertainment.[7][23] A close collaborator to Devolver Digital is Special Reserve Games, a limited-run distributor of physical versions of games. Special Reserve Games was founded in 2016 by CEO Jeff Smith, after he had pitched Wilson the idea of creating a physical release of the PC version of Shadow Warrior 2. Since then, Special Reserve Games has released further physical game releases, limited to only Devolver Digital games, though it is considering to partner with different companies in the future.[65]




  1. ^ Devolver Digital employs 57 people directly and 178 through subsidiaries.[1]


  1. ^ "Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended 31 December 2022" (PDF). Devolver Digital. May 3, 2023. Archived (PDF) from the original on August 18, 2023. Retrieved August 18, 2023.
  2. ^ Grant, Christopher (June 25, 2009). "Gamecock, Gathering of Developers founders re-emerge as Devolver Digital". Engadget. Archived from the original on July 29, 2017. Retrieved August 26, 2017.
  3. ^ McKeand, Kirk (August 31, 2016). "Meet Devolver Digital, gaming's own Death Row Records". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Zacny, Rob (June 30, 2014). "If at first you don't succeed: Mike Wilson on five years of Devolver, and a lifetime of publishing struggles". PCGamesN. Archived from the original on November 27, 2018. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r Webster, Andrew (June 5, 2019). "Why gaming's most influential indie label has stayed small for a decade". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Brice, Kath (June 26, 2009). "Gamecock co-founders start new publishing company". Archived from the original on September 8, 2018. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Devolver Digital, Inc. | AIM Admission Document | November 2021" (PDF). Devolver Digital. November 4, 2021. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 5, 2021. Retrieved November 7, 2021.
  8. ^ Messner, Steven (September 23, 2016). "How Devolver Digital is redefining videogame publishing". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on September 8, 2018. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  9. ^ McWhertor, Michael (June 25, 2009). "Gamecock Resurrected As Devolver Digital?". Kotaku. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  10. ^ Faylor, Chris (June 25, 2009). "Gamecock and g.o.d. Vets Return with Devolver". Shacknews. Archived from the original on September 8, 2018. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  11. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (June 25, 2009). "Devolver Digital formed by Gamecock, GOD games founders". VG247. Archived from the original on September 8, 2018. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  12. ^ Smith, Quintin (March 9, 2011). "For Serious: The Serious Sam Indie Series". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  13. ^ Fisher, Liam (January 24, 2012). "Indieroyale kicks off a Serious Sam Lighting Bundle". Destructoid. Archived from the original on April 12, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  14. ^ Roberts, David (April 29, 2015). "Digital humanity: how Devolver is the Sub Pop of gaming". GamesRadar+. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  15. ^ Hamilton, Kirk (January 3, 2013). "Kirk's Top 11 Games Of 2012". Kotaku. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  16. ^ Krupa, Daniel (February 19, 2013). "Hotline Miami Coming to PS3 and PS Vita". IGN. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c Chiullan, Moisés (March 7, 2013). "SXSW: Videogame Developer/Publisher Devolver Digital Adds a Film Distribution Arm!". Ain't It Cool News. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  18. ^ a b c d Pinsof, Allistair (March 3, 2013). "Hotline Miami publisher opens film subsidiary". Destructoid. Archived from the original on July 20, 2013. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Takahashi, Dean (June 28, 2019). "How Devolver Digital pursues the indie fringe and brings it to mainstream gamers". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on June 30, 2019. Retrieved August 4, 2019.
  20. ^ Batchelor, James (March 15, 2022). "New publisher Deepwell focuses on therapeutic games". Archived from the original on March 15, 2022. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  21. ^ Chalk, Andy (October 21, 2020). "Devolver Digital acquires Serious Sam developer Croteam". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on March 20, 2021. Retrieved October 21, 2020.
  22. ^ "Croteam and Devolver got Hitched". Archived from the original on October 23, 2020. Retrieved November 27, 2020.
  23. ^ a b Osborn, George (September 13, 2016). "A Gambitious Proposal?". Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  24. ^ Batchelor, James (November 4, 2021). "Devolver Digital valued at $950m as it floats on London Stock Exchange". Archived from the original on November 4, 2021. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  25. ^ Nunneley, Stephany (November 4, 2021). "Devolver Digital goes public and acquires three studios". VG247. Archived from the original on November 4, 2021. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  26. ^ Romano, Sal (April 3, 2023). "Devolver Digital acquires Doinksoft". Gematsu. Retrieved April 3, 2023.
  27. ^ Romano, Sal (November 1, 2023). "Devolver Digital acquires System Era Softworks". Gematsu. Retrieved November 1, 2023.
  28. ^ Kerr, Chris (February 1, 2024). "Devolver Digital CEO Douglas Morin has stepped down". Game Developer. Retrieved February 4, 2024.
  29. ^ a b c Newman, Heather (December 1, 2015). "A Very Special Holiday Interview with (fake) Devolver Digital CFO Fork Parker". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on December 22, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  30. ^ Dealessandri, Marie (December 14, 2017). "Being Fork Parker – Devolver Digital's marketing masterstroke". MCV. Archived from the original on June 24, 2021. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  31. ^ Faylor, Chris (August 31, 2009). "Serious Sam HD 'Testimonials' Offer Video Confusion". Shacknews. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  32. ^ a b junglist (September 15, 2015). "The Best Of Fork Parker's Publisher Satire". Kotaku Australia. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  33. ^ "Devolver serves up Fork Parker's Holiday Profit Hike for free on Steam". Yahoo News. December 19, 2014. Retrieved May 19, 2024.
  34. ^ Bell, Brian (May 10, 2018). "Devolver Digital's New SNES Title Addresses the Plague of "Crunch" While Raising Money for Charity". Paste. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  35. ^ "Fork Parker's Crunch Out – Super Nintendo Launch Trailer". IGN. February 21, 2019. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  36. ^ Lemne, Bengt (May 18, 2017). "Devolver Digital to host an E3 press conference". Gamereactor. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  37. ^ a b Alexander, Julia (June 10, 2018). "The story behind Devolver Digital's legendary, ridiculously last-minute 2017 E3 press conference". Polygon. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  38. ^ Jackson, Gita (June 12, 2017). "Devolver Digital's 'Press Conference' Was A Nightmare Vision of E3". Kotaku. Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  39. ^ a b c Farokhmanesh, Megan (June 10, 2018). "Devolver Digital mocks loot boxes and cryptocurrencies with its latest E3 stunt". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 14, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  40. ^ a b c Kuchera, Ben (June 10, 2018). "Yes, you can actually buy Devolver Digital's Lootboxcoin". Polygon. Archived from the original on June 15, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  41. ^ Square, Push (July 1, 2020). "Devolver Digital Holding Direct-Style Event Later This Month". Push Square. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
  42. ^ a b Macgregor, Jody (June 10, 2019). "Devolver's E3 conference was bloody and weird, as usual". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on June 10, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  43. ^ Kuchera, Ben (June 9, 2019). "Devolver announces 8-in-1 'bootleg' game collection, out tonight". Polygon. Archived from the original on June 10, 2019. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  44. ^ "Devolver Digital® Cinematic Universe: Phase 1 (Original Soundtrack)". Materia Collective. June 9, 2019. Archived from the original on July 10, 2019. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  45. ^ Sickr (June 14, 2020). "Devolver Digital says the Devolver Direct 2020 should be happening in mid July". My Nintendo News. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  46. ^ "The Future's Future Has Been Cancelled - Devolver Direct 2020". Gameffine. July 12, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  47. ^ "Devolverland Expo is a free first-person "marketing simulator" set in an abandoned E3". July 11, 2020. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  48. ^ Machkovech, Sam (March 11, 2020). "It's official: E3 2020 has been canceled [Updated]". Ars Technica. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  49. ^ Jody Macgregor (June 6, 2021). "Devolver Direct returns for E3 2021". PC Gamer. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  50. ^ Mitchell, Keith (June 12, 2021). "Devolver MAX Pass+ is a 100% free subscription service from Devolver Digital – The Outerhaven". Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  51. ^ Lauren Morton (June 9, 2022). "How to watch the 2022 Devolver Direct showcase". PC Gamer. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  52. ^ "All The Marketing From Devolver Digital's Countdown To Marketing". Kotaku Australia. June 9, 2022. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  53. ^ "Devolver Digital Presents The Return of Volvy". Devolver Digital Presents The Return of Volvy. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  54. ^ "Devolver Direct: The Return of Volvy set for June 8". Gematsu. May 30, 2023. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  55. ^ "VOLVY". BECKY & JOE. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  56. ^ "The Return of Volvy by Joe Pelling". Blinkink. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  57. ^ "Devolver Digital Direct 2023 - All The Games Announced". June 9, 2023. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  58. ^ "Here Are the Devolver Digital Showcase 2023 Games". Siliconera. June 8, 2023. Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  59. ^ Blink (June 13, 2023), Devolver Digital: The Return of Volvy, retrieved February 5, 2024
  60. ^ "Vimeo Staff Picks". Retrieved February 5, 2024.
  61. ^ Valentine, Rebekah (May 22, 2019). "The accidental authenticity of Devolver Digital". Archived from the original on May 29, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  62. ^ @devolverdigital (December 31, 2019). "Join us in welcoming four new employee drones to the Devolver Digital team starting in 2020!" (Tweet). Archived from the original on January 7, 2020. Retrieved January 2, 2020 – via Twitter.
  63. ^ Valentine, Rebekah (December 18, 2018). "Devolver Digital names former Apple games business manager to lead mobile charge". Archived from the original on June 8, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  64. ^ Dealessandri, Marie (February 5, 2019). "How Devolver plans to reign on mobile". MCV. No. 943. Biz Media. pp. 48–50. Archived from the original on June 2, 2019. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
  65. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (November 13, 2019). ""I believe I am preserving digital art in a physical form"". Archived from the original on November 13, 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.