INTERVIEW: Exploring HAWKED's Future With Executive Producer Andy Duthie

How is MY.GAMES shaping the post early access future of the PvPvE relic hunting shooter?

Michael Byrne
By Michael Byrne, Editor in Chief


Launching a game is hard. Like really hard. Launching it on multiple platforms and into a space as crowded as the extraction shooter space can be even harder. While HAWKED from MY.GAMES has a few more unique elements in it, that doesn't automatially set a title up for success.

We had the chance to sit down with HAWKED's Executive Producer Andy Duthie to explore how the treasure-hunting game's early access was received, how the game aims to stand out now that it's available on multiple platforms, and what surprises the team has encountered since early access began.

MMOBomb (MB): Before we get started, can you introduce yourself to our readers a bit and talk about what you do day-to-day on HAWKED?

Andy Duthie (AD): I’ve been in the industry for over 20 years working in both development while at Rockstar Games and then in publishing and production while at Build a Rocket Boy, Gameforge, Klang Games and now I’m at MY.GAMES, where I’m currently the Executive Producer on a new free to play treasure hunting title, HAWKED. In that role, I lead the Development and Publishing teams to make sure we deliver the potential in this multiplayer treasure hunting expedition.

My day to day is split between meeting with the many teams here and working with our leads to make sure that things are moving forward. Then it’s synching with the executive team and stakeholders to communicate our progress, and finally, I am accountable for the P&L to make sure that for all the fun we are bringing to the community, we are able to invest in growing the game even further too.


MB: You’ve had quite a history in the business and worked on some big-name titles. How has that experience helped you in HAWKED’s development and execution?

AD: I have been so incredibly lucky in my career to have been part of some of the biggest companies in the world. In my early days, I spent 14 years at Rockstar North as a developer on Grand Theft Auto and finished as producer on GTA Online. That in itself gave me such a great experience in how to build triple AAA titles to the highest quality. With GTA Online, that was my first step into working on a live service game and there are so many learnings from that experience that we are bringing into HAWKED today. This isn’t a “jump on the hamster wheel and grind through battle after battle without a break”, this is meant to be a story driven experience with high peaks and calm times in between as you prepare for your next expedition.

After Rockstar North, I moved into the other side of the industry and worked in Publishing at Gameforge, where I had the opportunity to run the live operations on over 25 titles as director of online operations and later COO. This experience helped me to touch all the various departments that I hadn’t had an opportunity to explore previously and led me to understanding performance marketing, monetisation modeling, maintenance management, and so much more.

Finally, I spent some time helping the amazing Leslie Benzies, who was the president of Rockstar North, to build his own company Build a Rocket Boy, and there I had the opportunity to learn about the challenges of running an extremely agile and large organization and combining all of that in making sure that you always keep your eye on the most important piece - the game, because “the Game is King”.

Hawked Early Access

MB: Now that HAWKED has come out of early access and launched on consoles, what has the team taken from early access to improve upon the PvPvE extraction shooter’s initial build?

AD: As with all live service games, you spend so much time building this wonderful seed that you plant and then you are allowed to grow it in so many different ways. For us, we have spent a lot of time working directly with the community to understand where their pain points are and to make sure that we are addressing them as fully as we can, while continuing to work on new content and features to keep them excited about HAWKED.

Some of the biggest improvements we have made have been around the technical stability of the game, as we launched and hit 1 million players in a couple of weeks which definitely challenged our server team to the fullest. We overhauled the whole UI between Early Access launching and full launch and that is definitely not an easy task. And of course, we continued to improve the feel of the game, actively balance all our weapons and gear and always add in new features like our Contract quest system.

MB: HAWKED is in an admittedly crowded genre. How is the team helping the game to stand out?

AD: We believe that there is an interesting hole in the market for an accessible multiplayer treasure hunting game and the players are definitely turning up to tell us that this is the game they have been waiting for, so I think we have identified a good space for ourselves.

But of course, we are not willing to take anything for granted and we have built HAWKED as a live comic book adventure which will continue to evolve in every way possible as we move forward. Each season (which we call Issues) will see new features, stories, characters, colours, music, map changes and so much more. We want it to be a game that is always familiar, but something that always remains fresh.

Hawked Releases 2024 Roadmap

MB: The Steam version of the game didn’t have that great a January when you look at player numbers. Console launch seems to have helped a bit as Steam hit an all-time peak users count of over 2500 this month, but how do you keep those players and, of course, grow from here?

AD: Yes, that’s correct, over January we were just at the tail end of our Early Access period and we had focused everything on the full launch. However, HAWKED was always built as a multi-platform title that needed all platforms to give us the player base to make sure the games are filled and fun. We’ve blown past our initial goals for new players and now we will continue to add new platforms like Xbox One, Epic Game Store, Steam Deck and more. Of course, none of it works without us continually working with the community to improve and expand HAWKED.

MB: Even shooters with a tight gameplay loop need to add “new” to keep players coming back. What’s the future of HAWKED content look like?

AD: Every quarter we will be bringing out our large content update called “Issues”, and every year, we will add even bigger updates called “Chapters”. So we already have quite a roadmap ahead of us which players can already see here. The biggest upcoming feature I am excited for though is our PVP Rankings coming soon, where our Renegades can really test themselves against each other.


MB: What’s been the biggest surprise for the team since players started getting widespread access to the game?

AD: I think it’s just how mature, respectful, helpful and engaged our communities are. We spend a lot of time talking with the players, especially on Discord, and in a world where anonymity can lead to trolling and disrespect, I think we have all been so incredibly pleased with how these conversations go. We really do see the community as just another part of the team building HAWKED.

MB: Got a tip or an easter egg that players should check out the next time they’re playing?

AD: Actually we’ve hidden away some adventure movie related easter eggs on X-Isle, so see if you can find them all!

MB: Anything else you’d like our readers to know about HAWKED?

AD: If you are looking for an adventure, hunting for treasure with friends or going solo and doing this for a mysterious corporation in a live comic book ever-evolving story and setting, then drop by the Riftwake and we might have a place just for you.

We'd like to thank Andy Duthie and the MY.GAMES team for taking some time out of their day to answer some HAWKED questions for us. Keep an eye on as we may just have a giveaway coming up for you HAWKED fans!

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About the Author

Michael Byrne
Michael Byrne, Editor in Chief

Mike “Magicman” Byrne has been a part of the MMOBomb family for years and serves as the site’s current Editor-in-Chief. His love for MMOs and gaming in general has led him to covering games for numerous gaming websites including Gamebreaker TV and XIV Nation where he proudly displays his fanboy flag for FFXIV:ARR.

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