Sonic Boom's Grant: The Kindle opportunity stacks up well

Has cool ideas about literary-based games

Sonic Boom's Grant: The Kindle opportunity stacks up well
Despite the fuss about Apple's tablet, some publishers are focusing on a large form platform that already has an install base of over a million, even if the screen is only monochrome.

US mobile publisher Sonic Boom will be one of the launch partners when Amazon launches the app store for its Kindle e-book reader.

COO Josh Grant brings us up to speed concerning why the company is bullish about the device.

Pocket Gamer: So why make games for Kindle?

Josh Grant: We were honoured to be asked by Amazon to be an early launch partner for the Kindle's app store. When evaluating new platforms and distribution opportunities, we take a few criteria into account:

1. Consumer demographic and expectations

2. Technology platform: complexity, development cycles, industry standards, documentation and support

3. Business opportunity: install base, merchandising, billing options, expected pricing

4. Ecosystem integration between hardware, software, billing and content management

Our early analysis indicated that the Kindle opportunity stacked up well against these criteria as it provides an integrated ecosystem, provides integrated billing, uses industry standard frameworks, has a significant install base and provides an opportunity for both apps and games that fit in our wheelhouse.

Are you porting existing games?

Our initial products will be designed and developed from scratch.

What sort of audience do you expect to be playing games on the Kindle?

A literary audience.

How complex do you think you can make these games, or will it be limited to word games?

Complexity does not necessarily equal fun or a compelling experience. The goal is to design and develop products that a) fit the demographic audience, b) are appropriate for the device/technology and c) provide a compelling experience.

Initially, we are leveraging proven games in the word, puzzle and card genres so that we can get to market quickly. Post-launch, we have some very cool ideas about literary-based games that we think will be a great fit for the audience and the technology.

Could you do online-enabled games such as simple WAP-style multiplayer or chess?


How big an opportunity do you think it could be?

It's impossible to say at this point. Our initial evaluation looked promising and given Amazon's use of industry standard framework and solid documentation and support, we believe we can get some platform-competitive products to market rapidly to test our initial hypothesis and get some hard data on the opportunity.

Will you be extending these games to other e-readers?

Anything is possible.

Thanks to Josh for his time.

You can keep up-to-date with Sonic Boom via web and Twitter.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.