In the corridors of…Fabamaq
This is the story of a unique software house that develops casino games from Portugal, more specifically from Porto, for different markets in Asia, South America and Europe. From art to sound, passing through game engine, game math, accounting, hardware and internal certification, Fabamaq has all the answers needed to develop games from the sharing of requirements to the market.
“The idea didn’t come from someone going to a casino, but from our customers’ need of having a company like this in Portugal”, said Luís Silva, Head of Marketing and People Management at Fabamaq. In the market since 2010, the company grew up in a sustainable rhythm and now gathers more than 150 “gamers” (nickname used to refer Fabamaq employees).
During more than nine years, these gamers have been the true jackpot of Fabamaq. The game development process is complex and requires a productive and positive harmony between sound designers, graphic designers, developers, mathematicians and others. The secret behind the success and growth of this software house is heterogeneity and valuing people.
For Fabamaq, people aren´t just a number. Their faces, names, interests, and above all, value are important and have a crucial impact in the final output of the company. This awareness is expressed daily with proper programs and initiatives – as the mentoring or talent development programs – that empower people on both the personal and professional perspectives. But the path until there was not easy!
All families grow with doubts and challenges
Things were not always easy, and when asked if he believed in such a rapid growth, Luís said clearly, “No”. “The beginning of a startup is always full of doubts, challenges and strange facts. Today, we don’t even think about it anymore. But when we recall that time, when we had to do everything ourselves (take out the garbage, replace the toilet paper in the bathrooms or take care of everything in the cafeteria). Back then we considered impossible to imagine this future. We would not bet that nine years later we would be in this amazing office building with so many different people.”
But it wasn’t impossible. The dream came true and nowadays Fabamaq is “one of the most important players in the international markets”. The gamers present since day 1 grew up with the business, took new roles and together have been able to overcome the barriers and conquer markets step by step. The goal now is to “bet on quality over quantity”. The software development for casino games requires a deep know-how at different levels and Fabamaq is enticed to find the perfect balance between: retain and value the gamers and be a competitive and attractive for new gamers that want to join the team.
A deep commitment with the concepts of opportunity and community
By quality Fabamaq doesn’t necessarily mean specialized staff in the technological field. Luís shared a story of a candidate with a Law degree, without any experience, to test gaming software for casinos. “He had never worked in this area before but we detected several interesting and important skills, and more than that, we believe that the technical part is always easier to teach and we have to approach problems and challenges very differently from other areas.” Hiring this person was a safe bet, and what’s more important to Fabamaq when hiring someone is “the way people look at a certain problem and don’t get blocked by it nor are afraid to ask for help, to communicate with the person next to them, to teach and to share.”
Porto Tech Hub, the partner that helped Fabamaq position itself in the market and that remains present in this software house’s everyday life, also shares all these values. The contact came up through the Porto City Hall, that presented Porto Tech Hub to Fabamaq, in a time they were searching for something they didn’t have and knew it was important: a position in the technological field.
“We found Porto Tech Hub and ended up joining them precisely to position ourselves, to make a name for ourselves in the market”, still having “the sharing of knowledge with other companies, partners with whom we share some constraints and some challenges even concerning growth”, explained Luís. In the end, the fulfilment is evident, and Porto Tech Hub aims to help the tech companies of the “Invicta” (undefeated) city to grow, have more development capacity and a reputation. It’s a good example of mission accomplished!