At least one video game developer out there seems to have found the key to engaging gamers on the go.
Australia-based Halfbrick Studios is an emerging success story in a video game industry, where established developers have struggled to keep up with a fast-changing environment, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company’s blockbuster app Fruit Ninja has now reached more than half a billion downloads, in part thanks to the company's focused approach to the mobile medium.
“The creative process that we took at Half Brick when we first came up with Fruit Ninja was…think of a game that will work on one screen and only uses one finger,” Halfbrick Studio’s Chief Marketing Officer Phil Larsen told the Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, established players in the industry are struggling to stay afloat. Nintendo, for example, recently missed projections for its gaming console, the Wii U. Even one-time success story Zynga, makers of the social media game Farmville, has fallen on hard times, laying off 18 percent of its staff this month.
Halfbrick also credits its growth with its ability to tailor products to new markets. Recently, it's expanded into China, an emerging market for gamers. Larsen says that things like language translation and promoting market-specific content has been essential to the success of their games there.
“If you take a western model, a paid model, it’s not really going to work [in China],” Larsen told The Journal.