At the 2014 GameHorizon Conference in Newcastle, CEO of NaturalMotion Torsten Reil spoke candidly on his studio’s success in launching the mobile game My Horse. Since its release My Horse has received 35 million downloads. Peaking in the #1 position in the App Store in 2012 the game has continued to solidify a growing fan base and is currently ranked #35 on the top charts in the family games category.
“The reason we did My Horse was because very few people had touched this kind of genre,” explained the NaturalMotion CEO.
“Lots of people sniggered at it and assumed we’d be doing something pink and like My Little Pony, but in the end we went for something far more realistic.
“And I just checked before I got here – My Horse has 35 million downloads now, and none of them were achieved through user acquisition. They’re all organic.”
During the conference talk Torsten Reil focused heavily on why app developers need to bring more disruptive innovation into the mobile game industry. Similar to how Apple changed the market with the launch of the iPhone.“If you take a creative risk, you can actually have a lot of success. [After My Horse] we looked at the next genre to disrupt, and that was racing. We just thought let’s simplify this – let’s just make it about drag racing’.”
When they embarked on the development process on their next project CSR Racing, the studio also directed their attention to the app’s gaming experience and searched for small ways to enhance it.
“For us it wasn’t just about drag racing – it was also about car ownership,” Reil continued. “We wanted to make it feel like people owned real cars. For us, obsession like this makes the difference between a good game and a great game – the consumer really appreciates quality.”
It really pays to be absolutely obsessed with your product. And when you’re done polishing, polish some more.”
“Seeing that when you try and disrupt something, it really resonates with a huge huge audience is really rewarding, and the audience you can reach on mobile obviously goes beyond anything we’ve seen before,” said Reil.
“The problem with what’s happening now with games, however, is that the games at the top of the charts stay there because they get into a self perpetuating cycle.”
CEO Torsten Reil concluded his inspiring speech at the GameHorizon Conference by saying, “You’ve got to leap frog genres. That’s what we believe is the big opportunity now. How do you do this? You have to be proud of what you’re making.”