Our publishing initiative will bring South East Asia's undiscovered Flash developers to mobile success, says Gamenauts
Taking local talent global
Having found its own success on mobile and PC with game such as Ninja Fishing and the Cate West series, San Francisco developer Gamenauts is becoming a publisher.
But it's not just becoming a common-or-garden publisher.
Instead, it's looking to work very closely in a co-development manner with indie developers in South East Asia.
We caught up with CEO Stanley Adrianus to find out more.
Pocket Gamer: Why are you getting involved in the publishing business?
Stanley Adrianus Following the success of Ninja Fishing, we've gotten in touch with developers, specifically from the Asian region, who were looking for ways to break into the mobile market.
After initial discussion, we agreed that we should work together and leverage our resources to bring their games successfully to the western market.
There's lots of competition in the publishing space so how do you expect to compete?
Being developers ourselves, we've had extensive experience working with large publishers. We understand the challenges of getting the necessary support from a more corporate-based team.
Fortunately for us, we're still nimble enough that we can function as an integral part of the development team with the added perspective of a fellow developer. As a company, we're still 100 percent self-funded, so we're not beholden to expectations from outside investors.
A great example is an upcoming game called Nuclear Outrun from the Nerdook Productions, an indie studio from Malaysia. From the start, I personally worked closely with Nerdook on a new concept to remake the game with a more mobile-friendly design.
As a small developer, Nerdook also didn't have the resources to port the game to mobile. So we brought in Nightspade, another Asian-based developer, to help port the game to mobile, and we're working with an art studio to revamp the graphics. We funded the entire process from start to finish.
We think that this level of personal commitment and constant support is what differentiates us from other large publishers. We regard all of our partners' games just as important as our own internally-developed games.
Why with Asian developers? Aren't there already enough games being released in the west?
Being originally from Asia myself, I've always had a personal desire to bring more awareness of the local mobile game development scene, especially in countries in South East Asia which haven't received much attention before.
I also had the chance to give a presentation in this year's Casual Connect in Singapore. That's where I met more developers and things just start rolling naturally after that.
You're specifically working with companies from Malaysia and Indonesia. Why do you think they have such potential?
We're not specifically targeting a particular set of countries. We're very open to working with developers from the broader region.
I definitely see a lot of undiscovered talent in the South East Asian region and especially in Indonesia, which has been a hotbed of Flash game developers. The Flash gaming scene has been opening doors to the developers for many and now more developers are making the transition to mobile.
That said, one of the things that I think can be improved is a better understanding amongst the developers about what it takes to bring a game successfully to the mobile market. We hope we can help with this and accelerate the local mobile games industry with the developers that we're working with.
What will you be advising your developers in terms of using third party networks?
We've had a great experience working with Chartboost, and we plan to integrate it with our first batch of games.
What platforms do you think will work best?
Currently, our focus is primarily on iOS, although we have successfully launched Ninja Fishing on both Google Play and the Amazon app store.
How many titles do you think you can work with in 2013 and do you expect to deal with a wider geographical spread of developers?
Our aim is to release two published games every quarter of the year. We remain open to working with developers from wider geographical regions, but our main focus in 2013 is in working with developers from Asia.
And what can you tell us about the first games you'll be releasing?
As mentioned, one of the first games is Nuclear Outrun by Nerdook Productions, a veteran indie developer in the Flash gaming scene. Expect lots of mayhem as you race against a nuclear missile, battling through zombies with insane weapons such as a squid-launching bazooka and a flying robotic T-Rex.
Another title we're releasing soon is with Artlogic Games, the developers behind the immensely popular Epic Wars series in the Flash portals. The game is a very cool mash-up of tower building and RPG genres, and we'll have more information in the next few months.
We're also working with our long time partners, Menara Games on a new take on the tower defense genre. We're particularly excited about this title since the team is the co-creators behind the critically acclaimed Defender Chronicles series.
Further down the road is an innovative strategy game from Kurechii Studios, which we'll have a lot to talk about once we get closer to the preview and release dates sometime in Q2 2013.
Thanks to Stanley for his time.
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