RealtimeUK is an animation studio that specialises in the creation of high quality trailers, cinematics and marketing imagery for many clients in the games industry.

It also has an automotive division, creating car configurators for luxury brands including Aston Martin, Bentley and others, as well as a growing TV & Film division, creating VFX and animation for various productions.

For instance, the company has created all the visual effects for a BBC adaptation of HG Wells’ ‘The War of the Worlds’ which, at the time of writing, is set for a theatrical release in China.

RealtimeUK has a core team of just under 50 people working across two sites in the north-west of England – Westby, Lancashire, and Manchester.  It was formed in 1996 by Tony Prosser from his bedroom and is still 100 per cent owned by Prosser, having experienced solid growth across its business.

Working for the Chinese Video Games industry

To date, RealtimeUK has produced three major computer generated trailers for companies in the Chinese video games industry. At the time of writing its newest trailer is for 'Evil Genius 2', a strategy game set for release in 2020.

Although the company has worked with international clients for a number of years, these opportunities in China followed in relatively quick succession and came from pro-actively reaching out to potential customers in that region.

The company does not have any representation in China, nor does it have any Chinese language resources to draw on, but this has not prevented it from doing business in the region or forging successful relationships.

It says the organisations it has been dealing with tend to be large enough to have their own translators or English-speaking team members.

RealtimeUK is hoping to build on its success in China, and is already in advanced talks with some of the biggest players in the video games industry, many of which happen to be in China.

Account Director (Games) Dave Cullinane said: “I’ll admit it’s not been easy, and it has taken some persistence in getting our foot in the door, but we find that doing business in China is extremely rewarding, with some of our most important projects in recent years coming from this region. Once you’ve made the connection, communication can be very direct and straightforward.  

We feel there is a great opportunity for us to grow further. Everything we’ve learnt suggests that the Chinese like doing business with companies that have a proven track record of working in China. With a number of major projects already under our belt and our reputation growing, we feel well-positioned to capitalise on our success.

“A lot of the biggest games in China are created specifically for the Chinese market. I now feel that there is a sense of change within the Chinese video games industry where there is a dawning realisation that they perhaps need to have their games reach a larger audience, and have a much greater international appeal to offset any risks they are exposed to.

These are areas that we can benefit from as our clients in China are specifically looking for the exceptionally high levels of visual fidelity that we can offer in our productions. 

“The UK games Industry has some fantastic organisations that are doing a great job of making our industry aware of the opportunities that exist in China.

Ukie, in particular, continues to do a great job, even organising a delegation to China Joy, one of the Chinese games industry’s biggest events held annually in Shanghai.

“However, China is so vast and there are still many linguistic and cultural barriers to overcome, so I think the Chinese games sector could do with some kind of an equivalent on its side – a government body that acts as a main point of contact that offers some kind of detailed insights to the market.

At the time of writing at March 2019, Realtimeuk had just completed a major games trailer for a Chinese client based on the ‘Game of Thrones’ IP.

Outside of China, its other international clients include Microsoft Studios, Sony, Wargaming, Sega, Yoozoo, Hi-Rez Studios, Frontier Developments, BBC, Aston Martin and Bentley.

Other key export markets for the company include the USA , Russia, and Germany. It estimates that within three years, export revenues could account for 70 per cent of its total revenues.

Originally published on Creative Industries Council.