It’s hard to believe that it’s been only a year since we killed our former identity with fire and rose from the ashes as BitLoft. Yes, this business has been around for more than a year, and yes, we’re technically a scale-up as opposed to a start-up, but we launched our rebranded website last December and so I’m calling 2018 Year One because — well, it fits.
For me, the words of one of our team members really summed up the year and our fantastic culture. Our lead game designer, Chuck Thomas, really nailed it the other day with this little gem on Slack: “I realized this morning that BitLoft is the first company I have worked for in which I would be happy to have it as part of my obituary.”
Thanks, Chuck, and everyone else, for MAKING this a place that you’d want in your obituary. We’ve got a saying around here to remind us that work isn’t everything: “BitLoft will not be at your deathbed.” That said… we’d love to be included on your epitaph!
But I digress. Here’s the rundown on 2018.
Loftin’ and Shakin’
So what’s happened over this crazy eventful past 12 months? Our headcount has exploded, for starters. “Headcount” — that’s a pretty clinical term for the addition of literally dozens of incredibly talented, passionate humans who continue to impress and amaze and make BitLoft a place where things are happening and people want to be.
The Lofters as depicted by Anthony Bell II
Teams are blowing up, and our sweet, sweet culture miraculously seems to be intact. We also made a company-wide shift to an Agile Scrum framework and had some stellar senior-level devs and designers join our development and design teams. This has enhanced both our capacity and range of talents, and we’re not through yet, with more slots to fill on several teams.
Perhaps the most visible changes have been on the fronts of game development and esports. Under the guidance of Mike Stoughton and Thomas Marshall, BitLoft Game Studios has grown from about 5 members in January to a cast of around 50 right now, and The Crystal Core is moving rapidly toward beta and a 1.0 release in 2019. This year has also seen the launch of Player One Esports, a gaming and esports league and sibling organization to BitLoft.
We’ve nearly completed renovation on our expansion facility in Carmel, which will house both Player One and the Game Studio and will feature gaming tournament space and enhanced visual production facilities.
Lofters Lead the Way
A less visible shift that has definitely been a force multiplier has been the expansion of our leadership team. We started 2018 with our founder Tom and me shouldering the load of management, and we ended the year with a spectacular team of experienced execs from diverse backgrounds. Jeffrey Howenstine has taken over as Director of Operations, Larry Wright has come aboard as HR Director, and Josh Headlee has joined as EVP. I am now heading sales and business development efforts for BitLoft, and this outstanding leadership team has supported the tremendous growth we’ve seen in 2018.
Mo’ Projects, Mo’ Problems
Speaking of business development, our client base has expanded greatly this year and we had the opportunity to work on roughly twice as many development, design and production projects as we did in 2017. I’m doing everything I can to continue that trend, and we have some very exciting proposals in the works for 2019 on projects ranging from motion-capture gaming to web design to video production.
We’re also planning to expand the sales team as early in the new year as possible, which I am extremely excited about. The energy and variety on the consulting front definitely fits.
No Red Carpet Selfies, People
It was a big year for Lofters in terms of public recognition, and I’m thrilled by the number of nominations and awards our team scooped up in 2018.
First and foremost, Thomas Marshall, our Game Dev Project Manager, was recognized with a Tech 25 award from TechPoint! Virginia Sanders and Cathy McKay were nominated for Women & Hi Tech Leading Light awards, and yours truly was improbably selected as an Indy’s Best and Brightest finalist. Not sure if that fits, but I’ll gladly take it!
Lofters in the Wild
The last year has given us great experiences with conferences and trade shows, both as sponsor and attendee. BitLoft was the title sponsor for Indy PopCon in June, which was a resounding success that allowed us to fill a giant exhibit hall space with some amazing set pieces and displays.
We also had valuable opportunities to learn and network at premier dev and design conferences such as Google Cloud Next, Adobe MAX, the Game Developers Conference, and Sigma Play.
Welcome to 2019!
Clearly, 2018 has been a banner year, and I’m extremely optimistic that there is more on the horizon for 2019. It’s hard to catch a breath with all that we have going, but it’s impossible to slow down while surrounded with the incredibly gifted and dedicated team of Lofters around me.
Thanks, BitLoft, for a tremendous year, and here’s to many, many more!
Travis Lynch is Executive Vice President of Business Development. Feel free to drop him a line about this post or for web and mobile development, digital marketing, and game design expertise.