NaturalMotion acquires Boss Alien
And CEO reveals CSR Racing now making $12 million in revenue a month
CEO Torsten Reil has revealed NaturalMotion has acquired Brighton based developer Boss Alien, while the title the two have collaborated on, CSR Racing, is making $12 million a month in revenue.
"We've been working with them from the start and they've been working exclusively with us on NaturalMotion games and they've done an amazing job a) building the game and b) creating an amazing team down there in Brighton," Reil told GamesIndustry International.
"With this acquisition it gives us the opportunity to obviously extend what we're doing on CSR because it's off to such a great start, and in addition to that we're also growing the studio there to work on multiple projects in parallel. So Brighton is going to become an important base for NaturalMotion."
"Boss Alien is very versatile, it's a group of very talented people. I think there'll be more than racing happening"
Reil added that they were currently "aggressively recruiting" for the team in Brighton, and that he wanted to build on the developer's exisiting culture.
Boss Alien rose from the ashes of Disney's Black Rock Studio, and has so far worked on NaturalMotion's successful racing title, CSR Racing. They'll continue to work on the iOS title, adding multiplayer by the end of the summer, but Boss Alien will also be involved in the creation of new IP.
"That team that is already there is very versatile, it's a group of very talented people. I think there'll be more than racing happening."
In fact Reil reported that NaturalMotion had six new titles in development across its studios in London, San Francisco, Oxford and at Boss Alien in Brighton.
But back to CSR which, Reil told GamesIndustry International, is doing quite well when it comes to revenue.
"CSR is currently making $12 million a month in terms of revenues. So we think that's quite high, and compares very favourably overall," he said.
"We've achieved that figure without user acquisition, so we've done it all through organic downloads, and we think that's really really important because we think that the margin on these games are much much higher than they would be on games that rely on user acquisition to be pushed up the charts."
He said that this number also represented a significant step in the evolution of free-to-play and mobile titles.
"That's why we're really sharing this figure because it's wave two of mobile social games that's starting. Wave one is coming to an end, those were the 2D resource management games that relied a lot on user acquisition to get up the charts."
"CSR is currently making $12 million a month in terms of revenues. So we think that's quite high"
He said those original games had to contend with a Facebook ancestry, which meant a Flash platform and limited graphics. While in the past developers assumed the mass market wasn't interested in high end 3D graphics, it was actually just waiting for the right platforms. He cited modern animated films like Toy Story as evidence that consumers do have an interest in high end 3D.
This move on the part of the market, away from 2D, recycled titles and towards better quality has actually made Reil more confident about the future.
"It's going to much more about creativity, much more about visual quality and obviously about game play, and we think that we have a head start on this because we started that sometime earlier. If anything right now it feels like things are accelerating for us, and we're feeling that we're hopefully charging forward and ahead faster than many others can do it," he said.
"But I don't want to sound to cocky either! We don't want to be complacent because we know all the time things are moving very quickly and everyone else is going for the same market. But there's a real buzz in the company."