Trials studio Ubisoft RedLynx is trying something different: Gwen’s Getaway, a cosy puzzle-and-decorate game currently in soft launch, is the first new original title from the Helsinki studio in several years.
MD Celine Pasula is an experienced head in mobile; she moved over to lead Ubisoft RedLynx in 2021 after a stint as CEO at Hill Climb Racing maker Fingersoft, and was previously cofounder and CFO at Supernauts maker Grand Cru.
But the ‘puzzle and decorate’ space is new for both Pasula and the RedLynx team. So we had to ask: why tackle this competitive genre, and why now?
“Why not at this point?” says Pasula. “We see that [the genre] is more established now and I think there are opportunities…we like to come with a bit of a fresh view and with Gwen’s Getaway it’s really about bringing this calming experience with a really beautiful art style. Also I think the storyline is so fresh – that’s something we believe will make it feel unique.”
Pasula says there’s nothing new to share about Trials, RedLynx’s best-known work, but does make it clear that the Helsinki outfit is now about much more than its beloved biking series.
“Our mission is to really find new audiences who love to engage with the experiences we can create,” she says. “So I would not define us through one particular game…we have a lot of things going on – we can’t talk about them all, but we are part of a big company which has a lot of interesting projects.”
Alongside taking the lead on Gwen’s Getaway, RedLynx is helping develop Rainbow Six Mobile and PC and console game The Division Heartland, for example. There are other unannounced projects in the works there too, spanning platforms and genres – part of a learning process Pasula and her team are all going through.
“For me, becoming part of Ubisoft was really to learn something else – I was thinking that if I want to do something in games, this is the place I can do it all,” she tells us. “Part of the studio is working on mobile and part of the studio is working on console and PC. This is a really natural transition for me to learn that and break those silos – we have to be where the players are, whatever the platform.”
Gwen’s Getaway is part of that mission. The team is a mix of RedLynx veterans and “fresh talent who know the genre well”, says Pasula.
“I grew up with free to play mobile games – I have been here 15 plus years now so it comes really naturally to me. The team, I think, also value that we are doing something new and fresh. That’s what’s great about Ubisoft RedLynx, that we have all these opportunities and we understand all the platforms.”
Alongside Gwen’s Getaway, there’s also Assassin’s Creed Jade, The Division Resurgence and Rainbow Six Mobile incoming – a clear step up for Ubisoft in mobile. And given the local talent on hand in Helsinki, RedLynx is clearly a big part of that effort.
“We definitely are growing our knowledge,” says Pasula. “And that also means we have been getting some key talent. With something like Gwen’s Getaway we can show what we can do and tell people that we believe in it – it’s a quite diverse portfolio on the mobile side.”
“It’s not that much about the platforms anymore to be honest,” she adds. “It’s being in the right place with the right experience and engaging with the players through that.”