MunkyFun Interview With CEO Nick Pavis
Desks on wheels. The Willy Wonka of video games. Those are but two bullet points that came from our interview with Nick Pavis, CEO of mobile games developer MunkyFun. Publishing giant GREE just invested a hefty sum of $3 million into the studio, and hopes are high that the talented team behind such hits as Bounty Bots and My Horse will become the next big thing. Whether or not that'll happen remains to be seen, but one thing's for sure, they have the drive.
You've released a handful of games already. Why partner with GREE?
GREE has very similar beliefs to ours when it comes to the mobile social games industry, so having them as an investor makes sense. The notion of connectivity in games, being a force that moves technology and the industry forward, and investing in great talent are all things both companies feel strongly about, and with such similar ideas driving us, it seemed ideal to work together
Let's talk about this new location you're moving into. Desks on wheels? How does that change productivity?
The new location is a really interesting space. Not only is it in one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Francisco, but it is also an old Ghirardelli Chocolates building. So the way we see it, we will be the Willy Wonka of video games.
We want to create an environment that promotes creativity and collaboration, and we want to make that incredibly easy. Desks on wheels will allow teams to configure the office however they need to, and that can change as the needs of the team change. That theory of promoting creative and innovative thinking is something we strongly believe in, not just when it comes to furniture layout, but even in how we come up with new ideas. We love having game jams and really challenging everyone at MunkyFun to go crazy and come up with amazing things. Ultimately, we hope to create a space where there are no limits.
How is the smartphone and tablet business changing? How must developers evolve?
The market has changed and evolved dramatically in just four years. When we started up in 2008, app creation was totally new. The App Store was not yet the force that it is now. So we have been here since the very beginning and have seen how much things have changed. There have been the obvious evolutions, the hardware and hardware specs and learning to make the most of touchscreen technology when it comes to gameplay, but we have also seen whole new genres created. The tablet was not a player in the market in 2008, but now it is rivaling the PC market in terms of growth and becoming one of the leading pieces of hardware for gaming.
Finally, console quality. We are learning how to successfully make games for smartphone and iPad that are console quality, thanks to the ever-improving graphics and game mechanics that continue to becoming more and more sophisticated.
All of these changes and improvements are happening in 1/3 of the time it took the console industry. The speed with which we all have to move is incredible, but it is that challenge and that intensity that keeps mobile games so exciting.
Android players seem to get shafted. If it's not delayed releases, it's a lack of updates. How does this happen on a platform that dominates the smartphone market?
The Android market is undoubtedly a huge one. But with so many handsets/tablets and so many different specs, it is hard to define one core audience and one core player to target. So the market is far more wild west and experimental. On the positive side, there are so many games coming out for Android, but the negative is that there is just no way to keep all of them up-to-date and still be able to survive, especially if you are a small indie dev.
What can we expect from MunkyFun in 2013?
Unfortunately, I can't give any details away quite yet, but we will be bringing out several games that we think players are going to be really excited about, with the first hopefully in early 2013. We will continue to focus on great gameplay experiences, incredible graphics and fun. Lots and lots of fun.