Gaming Cypher had the pleasure of interviewing Douglas Hare, CEO, Outplay Entertainment about game development and his successful relationship with Rovio.
1. What was the very first mobile game that you developed?
The first mobile game that I was involved with personally was Chimps Ahoy! which was developed by the Griptonite studio of the last company I co-founded, Foundation 9 Entertainment. I spearheaded the effort to get F9E onto the Apple App Store the day it launched in 2008. We had very little time to develop the game and everything was very new. As you might imagine it was a very exciting time but nobody could have imagined how much things would change after that. The first mobile game that Outplay developed was Word Trick, a really great multiplayer word game for iOS, Android, and Facebook.
2. Are you still hands on with development or do you prefer to manage your team and guide them?
It’s been many years since I was hands-on with development. There are many times when I miss it but we have really talented people making the games so my time is better spent on overall strategy and business development.
3. Do you feel that your relationship with Rovio will lead to other greater opportunities within the mobile game industry?
I think we’ll see a lot of interesting ad hoc relationships between companies emerge. The market is huge but still growing fast, if partnering with another company or working with a license enables you both to enjoy greater success then it probably makes sense to do it. Although there’s nothing specific in the works right now I certainly wouldn’t rule out us doing something similar in the future.
4. If you had any advice for upcoming game developers, what would it be?
Well assuming that they’re planning on making a really fun, well produced game, which hopefully features some amount of differentiation, and have some idea about how they’re going to get their game downloaded then they need to make sure they’ve figured out how they’re going to monetize their audience up front and build it into the DNA of the game. Bolting it on at the end is not a good idea.
Outplay has developed a number of successful titles including App Store Editors’ Choice featured & BAFTA-nominated Monster Legacy, App Store Editors’ Choice Angry Birds Stella POP!, multi-platinum downloaded Bubble Blaze, as well as Alien Creeps TD and Mystery Match – both of which were featured as Best New Games on the App Store. Swinging Stupendo, the second title released under the Bite Size Games label, was heavily featured as one of ‘Best New Games’ in the App Store and also received ‘Editors’ Choice’ in Google Play.