Big Potato Games (company)
|Industry||Board Games, Party Games, Adult Games|
|Products||Obama Llama, Scrawl, Muffin Time, OK Play, The Chameleon, Colourbrain, Blockbuster|
Number of employees
Big Potato is a UK based indie game publisher of board games and party games for adults and families. They also design games under license for media and entertainment companies, including Disney, Rolling Stone magazine, and Blockbuster Video.
In 2007, Tristan Williams began work on a trivia game for his family to play during the Christmas holidays. By 2012, Williams (along with his colleagues Dean Tempest and Ben Drummond) had developed the concept into a full game called Linkee.
After creating a prototype, Linkee was submitted to Hasbro and Mattel, but was rejected by both companies. At this point, Tempest quit his job in advertising to pursue the venture full-time. He was financially supported by Williams and Drummond, who both remained at the advertising firm.
Appearance on Dragons' Den
In 2013, Williams, Tempest, and Drummond appeared on season 11 of Dragon’s Den on BBC Two. Their proposal for the investors was 10% equity in exchange for £50,000 funding. Scottish investor, Duncan Bannatyne, showed an interest in their product, offering the full amount in exchange for 40% equity. The three founders refused the offer and left the show without investment.
Commercial Success of Linkee
Thanks to publicity from the show and a high volume of Christmas sales, Linkee went on to sell over 50,000 copies by the end of 2013. In 2014, the game was licensed to John Adams, who hold the UK rights to date.
Later in the year, the game was developed into a gameshow by the BBC called The Link, which ran for two seasons.
There are several expansions that have been released since, including a children’s version called Dinkee Linkee, and a mobile app for Android and iOS.
After licensing Linkee to John Adams, the trio continued to design and publish board games under their new company, Big Potato Games. In 2015, they created and released their first independent game, Bucket of Doom, with a successful Kickstarter campaign. Since then, the company has released over 30 different titles.
Big Potato is now well known for its emphasis on graphic design and alternative packaging routes. The company has also been noted for their unconventional marketing tactics (including a board game vending machine in East London) and their alternative approach to office culture, most notably their decision to introduce a four day working week in 2019.
Big Potato’s head office is currently located in Shoreditch, London.
As of 2019, Big Potato has developed over 40 games and expansions, including:
- Obama Llama (2015)
- Scrawl (2016)
- The Chameleon (2017)
- Don’t Get Got (2018)
- 20-Second Showdown (2019)
- Muffin Time (2020)
Big Potato have also created several games under license for different media and entertainment companies, including:
- First Dates (2016) - Under license of First Dates on Channel Four.
- Disney Colourbrain (2018) - Under license of Disney.
- Blockbuster Video (2019) - Under license of Blockbuster Entertainment.
- Rolling Stone Magazine (2019) - Under license of Rolling Stone Magazine.
- Office Space (2020) - Under license of Office Space (the movie).
Notable game collaborations
Big Potato have also collaborated with several notable inventors and TV personalities in the past, including:
- Obama Llama (2015) — A collaboration with Radio One DJ, Matt Edmondson.
- OK Play (2016) — A collaboration with inventor, Denis Avys (a.k.a Deejay Wheelie Bag).
- Truth Bombs (2016) — A collaboration with YouTube presenters, Daniel Howell and Phil Lester.
- The Chameleon (2016) — A collaboration with Coup designer, Rikki Tahta.
- Clickbait (2017) — A collaboration with prolific game designer, Reiner Knizia.
- Muffin Time (2020) — A collaboration with YouTube presenter, Thomas Ridgewell (a.k.a TomSka).
- Big Potato also partnered with the Movember Foundation in 2016 through their game, Mr. Lister’s Quiz Shootout to fundraise for cancer research and support programs for suicide prevention. They donated £2 for every copy of the game sold during October and November of 2016.
Awards and recognition
Since 2014, Big Potato have been presented with the following awards and recognitions for their games:
- TTPM Most Wanted award (2016) for Scrawl.
- Best Party Game award (2017) by UK Game Expo for The Chameleon.
- Best Family Game (2018) by Imagination Gaming for OK Play.
- Mom’s Choice Award (2019) for OK Play.
- "Find Cards Against Humanity only mildly offensive?". Metro. 2014-09-18. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
- "London Gaming Bar Gets A Board Game Vending Machine". Gizmodo UK. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
- Sheffield, Hazel (2019-09-16). "Why four-day working weeks may not be the utopia they seem". Wired UK. ISSN 1357-0978. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
- "Linkee - the successful business that rejected a Dragons' Den offer". Hiscox Business Blog. 2016-08-05. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
- "Dragons' Den success stories: Linkee". Startups.co.uk. 2015-07-23. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
- Andrew, Amy (2013-08-30). "Trio who turned down the Dragons take boardgame world by storm with Linkee". This is Money. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
- "Bucket of Doom - The death-dodging party game". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
- "Big Potato and Turbo Punch join £1m club on Kickstarter with Muffin Time success". ToyNews. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
- "Big Potato named official partner of the Movember Foundation". Toy World Magazine | The business magazine with a passion for toys. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
- "The Chameleon wins Best Party Game at UK Games Expo". Toy World Magazine | The business magazine with a passion for toys. Retrieved 2020-02-11.
- "Cinco Linko". store.momschoiceawards.com. Retrieved 2020-02-11.