Room 8 Group
3rd August 2021
Daria Sopelkina is a Director at Room 8 Studio London, a game development and AAA art production company which has recently joined Level39 as the community’s first gaming company. Daria is also Co-Founder of DataMix, a software development studio and Founder and CEO of Tumchi, a personalised nutritional startup.
In 2020 the gaming industry grew exponentially with many people spending the extra time they had on their hands at home over lockdown playing games. In turn, this provided organisations within the gaming sector with an opportunity to scale, and Room8 is one of these companies.
Daria started the conversation by explaining: “Room 8 Group is one of the largest independent video games service providers in the world, and at the moment we’re focusing on growing our global presence. As an organisation, we have big plans, and this is only the start. We’re growing very fast, especially in lockdown as there is more interest from studios for amazing, beautifully designed games.”
“In 2021 to date, we have increased the number of countries we are operating in, and we have already opened new offices in the UK and Japan, with Canada next on the list. We decided to open a site in the UK as the country has a large pool of talent with the relevant expertise our company needs to grow, and London is also a hub for future growth of the gaming sector. It made sense to launch a creative centre in London, and we’re just starting the hiring process.”
Daria goes onto discuss Room 8 Group’s current partnerships and projects. “At the moment, we’re working with seven out of ten of the top game publishers globally, so we have an exciting journey ahead of us. For example, we work with Ubisoft and Electronic Arts, and have worked on the games in some of the world’s biggest franchises like Doctor Who, Monopoly, Angry Birds, The Walking Dead and Call of Duty.”
The values of Room 8 Group are a key reason for the organisation’s success to date. “In total, we have around 750 professionals worldwide, and we have created a culture that puts teamwork and creativity at its core. This is seen in the creative products we deliver.”
Daria also discussed being a woman in the gaming industry, explaining “Around 46% of gamers are women, so the stereotype that the industry is just for men is a misconception. In fact, at Room 8 Group, our CEO is a woman and there is an equal split of men and women working within our organisation.”
Daria then went onto discuss the key traits an entrepreneur should have. “Today, more than ever, it is important to run and validate fast. However, I also believe that we are facing a future where ESG is the new normal, not a differentiator. Modern companies should have honest missions and values, as it is the “glue” that keeps the organisation operating in good or bad times.”
This prompted Daria to discuss her entrepreneurial journey to date. “I went to a prestigious accelerator in Cambridge which inspired me to quit my job and become a full-time entrepreneur. First of all, I set up Tumchi, a personalised nutrition company. As a founder, I quickly learnt how difficult it is to find a trusted software development provider. I joined forces with two other tech founders to create a software development studio, where we provide security and transparency for founders as well as beautiful tech products. Shortly after this, I was approached by Room 8 Studio as they were thinking about opening up in the UK. I was very keen to get involved as the company has a fascinating story and huge growth potential, and its values align very closely to my own.”
The conversation ended with Daria explaining why Room 8 Studio had decided to join the Level39 community as the community’s first games company. “We had always envisioned growing internationally and coming to London seemed the next natural step, and when we were looking for spaces to settle, the Level39 team were welcoming. They’ve really supported us and have helped us expand our team in the UK, and provide them with a base, despite lockdown.”