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Rolando dev: It's easier to stand out on console

Hand Circus founder explains move from iOS to PlayStation Network

In his Develop session this morning Simon Oliver, founder of Rolando developer Hand Circus, explained why his company had made the jump from iOS to the PlayStation Network for the release of its new title, Okabu.

"We’re not moving away from iOS, but is it the best place to launch a new IP?" he asked.

"Games like Infinity Blade are doing insane revenues, but I think for a company our size it might not be the best place to launch something we want to have a big launch, simply due to the abundance of competition."

According to Oliver, along with the higher quality, more immersive gaming experience offered by consoles, the PS3 offered other advantages too.

"Weirdly the higher barrier to entry that we hated about certain platforms when we were doing iPhone, now effectively works in our favour."

"The lower competition and the higher barrier to entry does mean that it's less hard to stand out if you can launch the title on console."

Oliver explained that the rising number of apps, price cutting strategies by companies like GameLoft and the fact that the Rolando publisher, Ngmoco, had gone free-to-play, were also important factors in the decision to work with a console platform.

"When the App Store first launched there were only 500 apps, and at the moment apps are released everyday than were there when the App Store first launched," he explained. "In 2009, 50,000 apps, and things started to change."

He admitted that while the plan might not lead to instant financial success, it fitted with the company's goals to stay nimble and create an IP with long lasting appeal.

"I think we probably could have gone down a route that would have given us significant revenue in the immediate term but for me its much more about building a long term business, and something that’s going to last for us for a long time."

Hand Circus is an independent developer based in London, and has five members of staff. Okabu will launch later this year.

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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