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Global: Bordeaux battles zombies

French video game company Motion Twin is run as a worker co-op

In a region of France fêted for fine wines, 14 people have created a world where hotels have monsters, zombies threaten, and dinosaurs roam the city of Aboris.

Thankfully, these altered states are simply the creative work of Motion Twin, a Bordeaux-based computer video game company that’s run as a worker co-op. Founded in 2000 by a group of friends fresh out of university (for some it was their first job), attaining success meant they needed to make their business official.

“[We went and spoke to an accountant who told us about the possibility of starting a Scop [société cooperative et participative] and well… the rest is history”
—Steve Filby

“We went down the traditional route, but found that an LTD didn’t really fit with our values,” says Steve Filby, marketing manager. “So we went and spoke to an accountant who told us about the possibility of starting a Scop [société cooperative et participative] and well… the rest is history.”

To date, the team has produced more than 150 games, following the Free to Play (F2P) model that Motion Twin pioneered.

“Basically we allow a certain level of access to our game for free and rely on people falling in love with them and wanting to pay some money for either more turns, in-game items, or subscriptions to premium modes. We’ve also dabbled in premium and that’s something that we’ll be trying a lot more of this year,” says Filby. This access-for-all ethos is embodied in a flat organizational structure. There’s no “boss,” and all staff have equal say and equal pay. ◊