After the successful launch of their new Chicken Balls game I caught up with Endloopp Studios partner Rob Kenedi. Rob has a very strong entrepreneurial background having managed the technology for a Canadian incubator, running a new Canadian venture, Pigsback, and am now as a Partner at Endloop Studios.
After the iMockUps for iPad you release a game? Why? Why not more apps for enterprise and developers?
We have actually been releasing productivity apps and games since our inception. We had a hit with Arcade Solitaire: TriTowers, one of our first apps that is still played by many happy gamers today, and have been going back and forth between productivity and gaming apps as we like to work hard and play hard, and know our users do too. We have a number of products in our pipeline, and we will be continuing to support iMockups with some really cool features coming soon, including a viewer for the iPhone. In this case, we had a vision for Chicken Balls and knew that the timing was right, so we went all in on the game, and we could not be more thrilled with its success. We’re also proud of the fact that we launched Chicken Balls a few days after the iPad 2 launched (we all went down to the US to pick them up to test on them). This carries on our tradition, as we launched iMockups the day the first iPad came out. We created iMockups as our first iPad app since we knew that designers and developers wold be the first customers of the iPad. We all now know that the iPad has gone very mainstream, and know that games are a very compelling offering on the iPad, so we developed Chicken Balls. As an aside, we used our iMockups chops to create a level designer for Chicken Balls that allows non-developers on our team to create levels: http://blog.endloop.ca/blog/2011/03/02/chicken-balls-game-level-design/ .
What early numbers can you share from Chicken Balls in terms of downloads and revenues?
We are very pleased with our sales and revenue numbers despite only being on the store for 6 days. But we are even more excited at the reception we’ve had from users around the world. Being the #1 game in Canada and the #3 game in the US is really gratifying, and we are thrilled that so many people are getting a chance to enjoy our labour of love. We are sure Farmageddon has something to do with it too!
People say that 99 cents is not enough for the amount of time and resources it takes to develop apps (especially games). How would you respond to this?
99 cents is definitely a tough price point to bet on (Chicken Balls is currently on sale for 99 cents, but the full price on the iPad is $4.99). Our approach to developing apps in general is that we treat the app as a product rather than a one-off idea. We think that a common mistake is to simply throw an app up on the store and hope it does well. Apps must be thought of as products, and the revenue model has to be baked into the plan when choosing what products to focus on building.
What’s next for Endloop?
Most immediately, we’re going to focus on providing more levels and continuing to deliver new content for Chicken Balls. Not only are we continuously improving the game itself, we will be releasing the iPhone and iPod touch version of the game in the next few weeks, and we know from our tweets and emails how many people are waiting for that version to come out.