October 24, 2014

Behind the Curtain: A conversation with Game Insight

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If you’ve owned an Android device for any length of time then chances are good that you’ve come across a game from Game Insight. As one of Google’s “Top Developers” they’ve been churning out high quality games for quite a while. There are more than a dozen available in Google Play already, notably Paradise Island, Airport City, and Mystery Manor. It’s not often that a developer is able to release a game that hits the million download mark, but Game Insight does it nearly every time out. We recently chatted up Andrew Park, the company’s Brand Manager, where we asked him to show us the secret sauce.

Hello!  Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, we certainly appreciate it. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company, Game Insight.
Hi, thanks for the interview. Game Insight is a global publisher and developer of mobile games with more than a dozen successfully-launched mobile games and another dozen or so games planned for release between now and the end of the year. We have about 300 employees worldwide, publish games all around the globe localized in 17 languages, and last year, we hit 50 million MAU for all our games.
Most importantly, we’ve been making games for Android for quite some time, and are probably best known for Paradise Island, which was, of course, a big success, being the first game on Google Play to take the #1 spot for more than six consecutive months.
That’s one heck of a feat!  Moving along, the subject of this is series peeking behind curtains and exposing companies.  What is it that you want Android users to know about you?
That we love Android and we love making games for Android! The Android platform has treated us well, and more importantly, Android game players have treated us well–so we want to do our best to keep providing the best game content for them.
Thousand of developers and half a billion apps.  How do you differentiate from the myriad of other game makers on Android?
We focus on making games that are of the highest possible quality–in other words, we do our best to make games that look great, sound great, and are fun to play–as well as being free to play and available globally to a variety of different audiences.
Tell us what you do that consistently results in such highly rated games?  What’s the focus?
At the end of the day, our focus is on building high-quality games that are actually fun! It’s how we’ve continued to keep people playing our most popular game titles, like our city-building game My Country, and our hidden-object game Mystery Manor, which has more than 20 million players worldwide…and which we’re delighted to finally be bringing to Android!
How do you monetize you games?  In- app purchases, premium apps?
All of Game Insight’s games are free-to-play. We monetize our games entirely through in-app purchases.
Are you surprised by the success of any particular game(s)?  Anything that did better than expected?
We’ve found that for mobile games, the best policy is to expect the unexpected. We do our best to produce games that are the best they can be and we’re always happy when they find an audience.
What games are your particular favorites?  Anything near and dear to your heart?
Mystery Manor isn’t just one of our most popular and most-played games, it’s also a game that we keep adding more and more content to because players can’t seem to get enough. We’re very grateful to all our players for the support they’ve shown and again, we’re really excited it’s finally available on Android.
Chime in on the discussion of Amazon.  Does it seem viable to Game Insight?
Amazon still seems like a developing platform, so it might be a bit early to make any sweeping pronouncements. We’ve never been afraid to explore new territory and new platforms, so we’re excited to see what the future holds for mobile games on Amazon.
What challenges have you faced in working with Android?  
It’s true that there are a lot of different OS versions and handsets in the Android ecosystem, but our focus has always been on providing the best user experience for every version of every game we make, so we’ve always approached developing games on Android (and on every other platform) by focusing more on how we can make sure every version of every game works as well as possible for all players.
Is there anything in recent versions of Android that have helped you as a game developer?
We tend to focus on making sure our games run well on the latest versions of Android, and go from there.
Have you guys found anything in Android that keeps you from realizing a particular feature or service? 
We’re still waiting for the Android add-ons that find affordable, convenient parking in San Francisco. Hurry up, Google!
Maybe in the next release?  Speaking of upcoming stuff, are there any features or games you can tease for down the road?
As you’ve seen in some of our most recent Android game apps, Game Insight is looking to branch out into different types of games and explore new feature. In April, we released Rule the Kingdom (which was both a city-building game and also a full-on fantasy role-playing game) and Diamonds Blaze (a Match-3 puzzle game). Both are very different than the games we’ve released previously. We will, of course, continue to make the games that we know people love, but our entire company consists of people who play and love all sorts of games on all platforms, so we’re also looking to branch out into new areas. Stay tuned.
How does a user get in touch to provide feedback?
We have a support page on our home page at http://www.game-insight.com/support/ and we’re always happy to have folks follow us on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/
gameinsight and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/GI_Mobile, where we post giveaways and special offers aplenty.
Thanks again for all your time and answers!  
If you guys have not checked out any of Game Insight’s Android games then you have homework.  Head to Google Play and get started!