Game Theory: Q&A with Ka Wang Wu, CEO of Spearhead Entertainment

Jun 4, 2010
Games

Company Name: Spearhead Entertainment Location: Stockholm, Sweden. We also have a very intimate relationship with Spearhead Beijing in China. However they are not officially a branch of Spearhead Entertainment. Notable apps: Phoenix Spirit Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. We are looking for opportunities to develop for other platforms. Specialty genres: We specialize in adventure […]

Company Name: Spearhead Entertainment

Location: Stockholm, Sweden. We also have a very intimate relationship with Spearhead Beijing in China. However they are not officially a branch of Spearhead Entertainment.

Notable apps: Phoenix Spirit

Platforms: iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. We are looking for opportunities to develop for other platforms.

Specialty genres: We specialize in adventure games and will also be dadding roleplaying games to our repertoire.

Company size: 4

Short description of company: The company was formed by former students of the Game development education at Stockholm University.

How did you and your firm get into the iPhone game development business?

It is quite simple. Our education was coming to an end and we figured that we wanted to give independent game development a go; after all we wanted to be able to create our own games. With a lot of backup from our parents we managed to start up the company and are currently learning business the hard way. As for why we chose iPhone specifically… well, we made an evaluation on what platforms we would go for and iPhone seemed quite interesting as it has very low entry levels. However that is also a big challenge for us with so many applications coming out every day.

The competition is quite harsh so we are looking for other options and offers that can help us out.

In your opinion, how has the iPhone and Apple’s iTunes App Store changed the gaming industry?

It has made games even more accessible to the public which is very interesting. Hopefully it will make games more accepted by society than it is today.

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The iPhone has also shown us that digital distribution is very strong and that you can lower the price of games significantly by not having to go to the retailers. The games are of course of lower production value than what you find in a brick and mortar store but they can still deliver equal or maybe even more entertainment than a typical triple A game.

Describe the differences between developing games for the iPhone and the iPad.

The iPad has not been released in Sweden yet so we are having troubles confirming that our games work. Basically we just develop the game for the iPhone and give it a test run through our testers. So far it has been working and no one with iPad has sent us a complaint. We will be sure to pick up an iPad as soon as we can though.

What factors go into how you ultimately price your games?

This is a very tough questions. Our first games have been priced quite low to get into the market. But there are multiple things that go into deciding what price our games will have. The most prominent one is just asking our testers what they would honestly pay for it. We don’t want to overcharge for our games but we would also not want to make less than we could. After all this is a business. However we do make our own estimations as well by looking at how much our competitor’s charge and what our game offers that they don’t.

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Describe what your dream game for the iPhone would look like.

Oh wow, this is a tough one. I’d say that our goal is to try to make games that people think are well worth the money and that they would like to see more of it in the future, you could call them honest games. In fact we have been working very hard to maintain that image by being very active on forums trying to interact with our customers.

As for a dream game… well, everyone here at the office are adventure game junkies. So any game we make we try our hardest to have some kind of element of adventure.

To be more even more specific the dream game would probably be a Metroidvania type of game. Our latest release, Phoenix Spirit, is such a game however we have just barely scraped the surface of the genre. We hope to revisit that it some time later to give everyone the ultimate Metroidvania experience!

 

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